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or THE 












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Though thy beginning wm small } yet thy Utter end should greatly increase. For inquire, 
1 pray thee, of the former age, anti f>/e)Mre"tfcy«tclf in il* icarrh of their fathen :— thall 
not they teach thee, and tell thee, fend utl?' wot .in or.t of their heart ? 

Book or Job, 

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•••• • -•••" 

• • •«• • • '•• ••• • 

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Edinburgh : Printed by A. Balfour and C* Niddry Stmt. 


I submit the following work to the public, as the first at- 
tempt towards filling up a chasm, which has long existed in 
the Ecclesiastical History of the empire. While the origin 
and progress of the churches of England and of Scotland, of 
ihe Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, and almost every other 
denomination, have been fully and frequently traced, it is 
singular that no history has yet appeared of any branch of 
the Protestant church in Ireland. Of this church, the 
Presbyterians have long formed an expensive and influential 
section, and have, at the £amert/me, possessed .many strong 
claims upon the notice of tKe "historian.: • Their history is so 
intimately connected with all the more -important changes in 
the civil affairs of Great Britain! during 3the~.last two centuries, 
and the cause of constitutional freedom is so much indebted 
to their noble efforts at the Revolution — they have been 
planted in the north of Ireland for so long a period, and have 
passed through so many interesting vicissitudes, both as a 
church and people — their settlement in Ulster, where they 
constitute the large majority of the population, has rendered 
that province so remarkable a contrast, in point of wealth. 


intelligence, and tranquillity, to the other parts of the empire—' 
they occupy so singular and anomalous a position, a non-con* 
forming yet an endowed church — and they have been so ge- 
nerally characterised by probity, peaceableness, and industry, 
as well as firm and enlightened attachment to the principles 
of civil and religious liberty ; that while it is surprising these 
peculiarities in their condition have not long ago led to am 
inquiry into their history, it is, at the same time, far from 
being creditable to ourselves that our forefathers'* services and 
sufferings should have remained so long unrecorded. 

The present work originated in a desire to rescue the his- 
tory of our church from this obscurity, in which it has so 
long and so unaccountably lain. To accomplish this object, 
has been a work of more difficulty than I at first anticipated, 
owing as much to the loss of the earlier records of the church, 
as to the want of an accurate history of the kingdom, and 
especially of the province of Ulster. These defects I have en- 
deavoured to supply by diligent and extended inquiries ; in 
the prosecution of which, neither labour nor expense has been 
spared, while every accessible source of information has been 

carefully exploded in. seqrcl} gf jrraterials — with what success, 

* . • • ... ***** 

it becomes n/>{ jh$°*to> say. ".If thenrdaSer, however, wishes to 
form an estimate ©f'if, lefr.rom "consider how much he knows 
of the history of\Jtitff 9 iad the, early state of the Presbyterian 

# ^ • • 

Church, before hVefctefsVoif Jt$V following pages ; and having 
perused them, let him examine how much has been added to 
his knowledge of these subjects — the difference, if any, may 
be assumed as a fair criterion of the success with which the 
investigation has been conducted. 

To render the work more generally interesting, I have pre- 
fixed an Introduction, comprising a view of the state of the 
Romish Church in Ireland prior to the Reformation— a 


brief narrative of the progress of the reformed religion during 
Ae sixteenth century — and an examination of the causes 
which rendered it less successful here, during that period, than 
in either of the sister kingdoms. As this Preliminary Sketch 
embraces subjects not previously investigated, I trust it will 
be found no unimportant addition to the value and interest of 
the work ; while it will prepare the reader for a more profit- 
able perusal of the subsequent narrative. 

In compiling the history of our church, I found it impos- 
sible to present a satisfactory view of its circumstances and 
progress, without more extended references to civil affairs, 
especially to those of Ulster, than I either intended or wished. 
Some, I am aware, may be ready to condemn the work as 
embracing too much of civil history, and containing accounts 
of political and military transactions, incompatible with its 
character as an ecclesiastical history. But the affairs of 
church and state were so intimately connected, particularly 
during the period embraced in this volume, that I found it 
impracticable to separate them in the narrative. And when it 
is considered, that the civil affairs of Ulster have been as im- 
perfectly explored, an4 are, at the present <Uy,. as imperfect- 
ly known as its religious changes, I hepe the attempt I have 
made to furnish, for the first time* an. ample and accurate ac- 
count of both, will be the more fevour^bly. /eceived. 

From the nature of the following work, I could not avoid 
noticing the character and procedure of other churches in Ire- 
land. But while I have expressed myself without reserve on 
these subjects, and have neither disguised the principles nor 
repressed the feelings of a conscientious presbyterian, I am 
not aware of having unnecessarily obtruded my sentiments, or 
employed language which ought to be offensive to those who 
cannot adopt my views. My i plainness of speech' may pro- 


voke and irritate the bigot ; but it will not annoy or displease 
the candid reader, how widely soever he may differ from 
me in political or religious matters. I have exposed corrup- 
tion and error, and reprobated intolerance and persecution, 
with unreserved freedom, wherever they were displayed ; but 
assuredly, with no hostile feelings towards the adherents of 
the churches whose conduct may have been censured ; and cer- 
tainly under no political prejudice against any one class of 
my countrymen, nor with the remotest intention of implicat- 
ing the present generation, either of Romanists or Protestants, 
in the guilt of former transactions. While I have ' nothing 
extenuated,' I can sincerely say, I have not « set down aught 
in malice ;"* and though ' not afraid to blame,** the awarding 
of praise to all parties, had the truth of history permitted, 
would have been to me a much more congenial occupation. 

The reader will observe, in perusing the following pages, 
that my materials have been collected from various quarters, 
and from widely different sources. In addition to the or- 
dinary histories of Ireland and Great Britain, and such other 
historical and biographical works .as • I could obtain, I have 
made use of seV&r&lr, r fire' pampjilej;'^ ietating to Irish affairs, 
which I consulted*»in th.1t w ntdtfe institution, the British 
Museum, and which -have •enabled me to throw additional 
light upon the traris^tiq}is*recor<Jcd:in this volume. To these 
various publications I have carefully referred in the notes, as 
occasion required. My references might indeed have been 
easily increased, and my array of authorities rendered more 
imposing ; but where the facts stated were generally known 
and uncontroverted, I did not conceive any reference neces- 
sary ; while out of the numerous works which might have 
been produced to corroborate the same fact, I preferred refer- 
ring to that only which appeared to be the original authority. 


I also consulted-— though I regret my limited time per- 
mitted me to do so only partially-— the manuscript collections, 
in the British Museum, London ; in the Advocates' Library, 
Edinburgh ; and in Trinity College, Dublin, to which last I 
obtained ready access through the kindness of the Rev. S. J. 
M'Clean, one of the Fellows of that learned body. From all 
these sources I derived important information, illustrative of 
the early state of Ulster. A few interesting papers, which 
have not been published before, are inserted in the Appendix. 

As my professional duties retard the progress of an under- 
taking like this, I am able to offer to the public only the 
first volume of the work, which brings down the narrative 
to the period of the Solemn League and Covenant. A still 
more interesting portion of the history of our church yet re- 
mains ; which, should this volume be favourably received, I 
shall endeavour to complete as speedily as possible. 


December 19, 1833. 






Early purity of the Irish church, 1 

Subjugated to the see of Rome, 2 
State of the Romish church in 
Ireland before the sixteenth 

century, 3 

Arrogance and turbulence of die 

clergy, 4 

Their rapacity 7 

Their ignorance 9 

Their immorality .... 10 
Consequent prevalence of super- 
stition • .... 18 

Of error 15 

And of irreligion .... ib. 

Among the nobles ... 16 

And the people 17 

The kingdom unprepared for 

religious reformation ... 19 
Brown made archbishop of Dub- 
lin by Henry VIII. ... 21 
The pope's supremacy renoun- 
ced by parliament .... 22 
Opposition of the Romish clergy 23 
Accession of Edward VI. . . 27 
Endeavours to introduce the 

English liturgy . . . . ib. 
Alleged violence of the Irish 

reformers 33 


Shown to be unfounded . . 34 
Unwillingness of English minis- 
ters to remove to Ireland 36 

Bishop Bale 87 

His conduct and character vin- 
dicated 41 

Reign of Mary 42 

Accession of Elizabeth ... 45 
Proceedings of her first parlia- 
ment 46 

Impropriety of the measures 

adopted by government . . 47 
A second parliament called . 52 
Its acts on the subject of religion ib. 
Irish types introduced ... 53 
Great want of reformed ministers 55 
General indifference to the ad- 
vancement of the truth . . 56 
Establishment of Dublin college 57 
Principles on which it was 

founded 58 

Spenser's description of the re- 
ligious state of the country 60 
Slow progress of the reforma- 
tion 62 

Causes thereof 63 

Unfavourable state of the king- 
dom 63 


Opposition of the Romish clergy 64 

Inadequacy of the means em- 
ployed for promoting the Re- 
formation ib. 

Harsh and summary proceedings 
of parliament ib. 

Exclusive employment of En- 

glish agents and of the English 


Timidity and indecision of the 
Irish reformers .... 
Want of adequate ministers 
Progress of the truth conse- 
quently slow and partial . 







Accession of James I. ... 73 
His measures for civilizing Ire- 
land 74 

State of the province of Ulster 75 
Its moral and religious condition 77 
Early attempts to plant colonies 

on the eastern coast ... 79 
James's project for colonizing 

the six forfeited counties • 81 
Progress of the Northern planta- 
tion 83 

Settlement of the Hamilton 

and Montgomery families . 86 
Proceedings of the parliament 

And of the convocation 


Articles of religion .... 


General character of the first 



Arrival of Scottish ministers 


Brice of Broadisland . • . 


Hubbard of Carrickfergus • . 


Glendinning of Canunoney 


Ridge of Antrim .... 


Cunningham of Holywood 


Blair of Bangor .... 


Hamilton of Ballywulter . . 


in 1615 



Revival of religion . . . .106 Notice of John M'Clelland . 1 18 

Circumstances which occasioned And of John Semple . . . ib. 

it 107 Their labours and success . .119 

Establish men t of a monthly Their maintenance of the pres- 

meeting at Antrim . . .110 byterian worship and disci- 
Arrival of additional ministers pline 121 

from Scotland Ill Monthly meetings at Antrim . 1 25 

Welsh of Templepatrick . .112 Influence in promoting the revi- 

Stewart of Donegore . . .113 val of religion 126 

Dunbar of Lame ib. Testimonies respecting its ex- 
Col vert, of Muck a more • -115 tent and reality 127 

Livingston of Killinchy . . ib. Difficulties it encountered . .128 



General non-conformity of the 

northern clergy . . . .129 
Jealousy of bishop Echlin . . 1 30 
His insidious opposition to Blair 132 

Is defeated 133 

Afterwards suspends two minis- 
ters 134 

They apply to archbishop Ussher, 
and are restored . . . .135 

Echlin again silences four mi- 
nisters 137 

Blair goes to London . . .138 
Applies for relief to Charles I. 140 
Their case referred to the lord 

deputy of Ireland . . . . ib. 
Who refuses to relieve them . 141 


State of the kingdom at theac- Northern bishops . . . .157 

cession of Charles I. . . 143 Bedell 158 

Irish army increased . . .144 His letter to Laud describing 

Supplies needed 145 the religious state of his dio- 

Encouragement of the Romanist cese ib. 

party . . ib. Laud turns his attention to Ire- 
Protested against by the Irish land 162 

prelates 146 Influences Wentworth . . .164 

The ' Graces' promised . . .147 Bramhall and Leslie promoted 165 

Delay in granting them . . . 1 48 Letter of the former to Laud . ib. 

General discontent of all parties 150 Alterations in Dublin college 167 

Lord Wentworth made deputy ib. Irish convocation meet . . . 168 

His arrival 151 Adopt the English articles and 

Holds a parliament • . . . ib. canons • 169 

Is influenced by Laud in eccle- Wentworth's account thereof to 

siastical affair ■ 153 Laud 170 

State of the English church at High- Commission court erected 174 

this period ib. Gloomy prospects of the pres- 

And of the Irish church . . 155 byterians 175 

Particularly in Ulster . . .157 


Blair's application to Went- Death of Echlin 186 

worth unsuccessful . . .176 Is succeeded by Henry Leslie . 187 

Lord Castlcstewart interferes . 177 His visitation sermon ... 188 

Suspended ministers restored He suspends five other minis. 

for six months 178 ters 193 

Death of Welsh 179 Public discussion at Belfast . ib. 

And of Stewart 180 Death of Brice 201 

Conference between Bhitr and Ministers embark for New Eng- 

bi>boj) Echlin 813 land ib. 


w • 



They are driven back . . . 202 
And compelled to fly to Scot- 
land • 204 

Their reception there . . . 205 
Deaths of Cunningham and 

Ridge 206 

Increasing tyranny of Wentworth 208 
His arbitrary proceedings . . 209 
His attention turned to Scotland 21 1 

State of the Scottish Church . 211 
Laud's innovations . . . .212 

Book of Canons ib. 

Scottish Liturgy ... * . 215 
Riot at Edinburgh . . . .216 
General Assembly at Glasgow 217 
Indignation of Charles . . .218 
He prepares to invade Scotland ib. 


Wentworth alarmed for the tran- 
quillity of Ulster . . . .219 

Northern presbyterians disaf- 
fected to his government . . 220 

Settlement of the banished mi- 
nisters in Scotland . . . . ib. 

Intercourse between them and 
their former people in Ulster 222 

Wentworth determines to over- 
awe the presbyterians . . 223 

Cuts off their communication 
with Scotland 225 

la aided by the prelates . . . 226 

Case of Galbraith . . . . ib. 

AndofPoot 228 

Rigour of Bramhall .... 230 

And of Leslie 231 

Correspondence between the lat- 
ter and Wentworth . . . ib. 
Leslie's visitation charge . • 238 
Origin of the Black oath . . 242 
Is imposed on the Scots in Ul- 

sier ...«•••. £rw*) 
Tyrannical proceedings in en- 
forcing it 247 

Lord Claneboy's letters to 

Wentworth 248 

Sufferings of the presbyterians 253 
Case of Henry Stewart . . 256 


Wentworth in the zenith of his Loses the confidence of the Irish 

power 259 parliament 272 

Case of Archibald Adair, bishop Their remonstrance .... 274 

of Killala 261 Commissioners sent to England 275 

He is deposed , 265 State of affairs there . . . . ib. 

Conduct of Bedell thereon . . 266 General discontent . . . . ib. 

Wentworth created earl of Straf- The Long Parliament meet . 276 

ford ........ 268 Strafford impeached and impris- 

Collects a Roman Catholic army 269 oned 277 

And joins the king in England ib. Ulster presbyterians petition the 

Proposes to transport the Scots English parliament . . . 279 

out of Ulster 270 Copy of their petition . . . 280 

His plans frustrated . . . . 272 And list of grievances . . . 282 


Trial and execution of Strafford 289 
Redress of Irish grievances . 290 
Archibald Adair released, and 

made bishop of Waterford . ib. 
Applications of Henry Stewart 
and Robert Adair to the Scot- 
tish parliament .... 291 
English parliament restore the 
county of Derry to the corpo- 
ration of London .... 292 

Irish parliament abolish the High 

Commission court . . . ib. 
And rescind its sentences against 

the Ulster presbyterians . . 298 
Petitioned by Mrs. Pont . . ib. 
Commence the reformation of 

Trinity College . . . . ib* 
Irish army disbanded .... 294 


The kingdom peaceful and pros- Enniskillen, Derry, Coleraine, 

perou8 296 &c preserved 311 

Rebellion projected by the na- Proceedings at Carrickfergus . 312 

tive Irish ...... 297 And in the county of Antrim • 813 

Incited by religious antipathies 296 Belfast and Lisburn secured . 315 

Hastened by the state of affairs Proceedings in the county of 

in England ...... 300 Down 819 

Irish conspirators actuated by Success of the Romanists . • 821 

different views 802 Their subsequent cruelties . . 822 

Secret intrigues of the king . . 803 Retaliated by the protestants . 828 

The day appointed for the insur- Massacre at Island Magee . . 824 

rection 806 Followed by famine and pesti- 

Plot discovered 808 lence 826 

Progress of the rebellion in Ul- Sufferings of the clergy . • . 828 

ster ib. Death of bishop Bedell . . . 881 

Seizure of Cbarlemont, Dungan- Number of protestants massacred 886 

non, Newry, Sec 309 Ulster Scots partially preserved 889 


Proceedings of the lords jus- Their services in Donegal . . 845 

tices 341 State of Deny 340 

The king sends commissions to English and Scottish parliaments 
the protestant leaders in Ulster 342 negotiate for the relief of Ire- 
O'Neill reduces Lurgan . . . 343 land 350 

His unsuccessful attack upon Arrival of Scottish forces under 

Lisburn ib. Monro 852 

Sir William and Sir Robert They march to Newry . . . 358 

Stewart defeat him in Ty- And Armagh 854 

rone • 344 Return to Carrickfergus . . 355 



Letter to Monro from Derry . 3j6 
Movements of the Lagan forces 359 

Conduct of the earl of Antrim 362 

Ii taken prisoner by Monro . 304 

Proceedings in Armagh . . . 365 

And on Lough Neagh . . . 366 

Peace restored 367 

State of the church in Ulster . ib. 

Revival of presbytery . . . 368 

Army-chaplains 369 

First presbytery meets . . .371 

Its proceedings 372 

Congregations erected by it . . 373 
First petition to the General As- 
sembly in Scotland . . . 374 

Assembly's reply 376 

Ministers appointed to visit Ul- 
ster 376 


Arrival of the ministers ap- 
pointed by the General As- 

sembly, 381 

Rapid extension of the church, 382 
Proceedings of the Scottish mi- 
nisters, 383 

Several of the episcopal clergy 

join the presbytery, . . . 385 
Mode of receiving them, . . 386 
Discipline strictly enforced by 

the presbytery, 387 

Fast observed, with its causes, 389 
Two ministers ordained, . . 390 
Livingston pays a second visit 

to Ulster, 391 

The presbyter)' send a second 
petition to the General As- 
sembly, ... ... 392 

Assembly's proceedings, . . 39.5 

Ministers again appointed to visit 

the church in Ulster, . . 397 
State of affairs in the mean time 

in England 398 

Civil war commenced, . . . ib. 
Ecclesiastical changes, . . . 399 
Growing opposition to prelacy, 400 
English parliament open a cor- 
respondence with the Gene- 
ral Assembly, 401 

Afterwards abolish prelacy, . 403 
Westminster Assembly called, 404 
Commissioners from the parlia- 
ment sent to Scotland, . . 405 
Solemn League and Covenant . ib. 
Taken in London, .... 407 

And in Edinburgh 408 

Explained and vindicated, . . 409 
Forwarded to Ireland, . . .411 






Conference between Sir James Crofts, Lord Deputy, and Dowdall, 

R. C. archbishop of Armagh, at Mary's Abbey, Dublin, in June 

1552, 413 

Description of the state of Ulster in the year 1552, taken from Lord 

Chancellor Cusack's letter to the duke of Northumberland, . . .417 

I. List of Protestant ministers in Ulster, in the year 1622, .... 425 

II. Public discussion between Leslie, bishop of Down and Connor, 
and the Presbyterian ministers of his diocese, held in the church at 
Belfast, in August 1636, 434 

III. Power of attorney granted by Lord Chichester and others, in 
December 1641, to Mr. Edmonstone of Broadisland, to purchase 
arms in Edinburgh, 454 


N. R— The author's distance from the press will satisfactorily account for 

the following errata : — 

Page 20, line IS of note 48. The notice of archbishop Brown, which 

concludes this note, ought to have been attached to 
the subsequent note, 49. 

— 77, — 7, for it, read they. 

— 109, — 17, /or prophets, rea d prophet. 

153, — 28, fir this, read his. 

173, — 13, fir his, read this. 

_ 173, — 6 of note 25, fir their, read these. 

174, — 2 of note 27,/or this, read his. 

177, — 17, dele he. 

__ 185, — 2d, fir present, read pervert. 

__ 186, -— 13 of note 9, fir chap. iii. read chap. ii. 

248, — %fir letter, read letters. 

— 280, — 5 of note 25, fir Life of Vesey, read Life by Vesey. 

— 295, — 20, fir as the view, read with the view. 
_ 314, — 2 of note 2d, fir soubriquet, read sobriquet 
_ 342, — lust line of note 4, fir Claneboy, read Chichester. 





Early purity of the Irish church—Subjugated to the see of Rome— State of the 
Romish Church in Ireland before the sixteenth century — Arrogance and turbulence 
of the clergy — Their rapacity — ignorance — and immorality— Consequent preva- 
lence of superstition — error — andirreUgion — among the nobles — and the people — 
The kingdom unprepared for religious reformation— Brown made archbishop of 
JDubUn by Henry VIII— The Pope*s supremacy renounced by Parliament — Op~ 
position of the Romish clergy — Accession of Edward VI. — Endeavours to intro- 
duce the English liturgy — Alleged violence of the Irish reformers — Shown to be 
unfounded — Unwillingness of English ministers to remove to Ireland — Bishop 
Bale — His character and conduct vindicated — Reign of Mary— Accession of 
Elizabeth — Proceedings of her first Parliament — Impropriety of the measures 
adopted by Government — A second Parliament called — Its acts on the subject of 
religion — Irish types introduced — Great want of reformed ministers — General 
indifference to the advancement of the truth — Establishment of Dublin college— 
Principles on which it was founded — Spenser's description of the religious state 
of the country — Slow progress of the Reformation— Causes thereof— Unfavour- 
able state of the kingdom — Opposition of the Romish clergy — Inadequacy of the 
means employed for promoting the Reformation — Harsh and summary proceed- 
ings of Parliament — Exclusive employment of English agents and of the English 
language — Timidity and indecision of the Irish reformers — Want of adequate 
ministers — Progress of the truth consequently slow and partial. 

The early state of religion in Ireland is involved in deep obscu- 
rity, rendered still more impenetrable by the violent and pro- 

VOL. i. n 


tracted controversies which it has occasioned. It is uncertain 
when Christianity was first introduced into the kingdom, or to 
what period its ultimate triumph over the druidical supersti- 
tion is to be assigned. The very existence of St. Patrick, 
the celebrated apostle of Ireland, has been plausibly impugned; 
and the period of his mission, the character he sustained, the 
form of Christianity he introduced, and the success he expe- 
rienced, are to the present day vigorously contested. On one 
point, however, and that happily the most important, there 
is considerable unanimity. It is now generally admitted, 
that the primitive church of Ireland, though not free from 
error, differed most materially and for a length of time, 
from that of Rome. The free and commanded use of the 
Scriptures — the inculcation of the doctrines of grace and of 
the efficacy of the sacrifice and intercession of Christ, with- 
out any allusion to the mass, to transubstantiation, purga- 
tory, human merit or prayers for the dead— the diversity in 
the forms of celebrating divine worship — the rejection of the 
papal supremacy — the marriage of the clergy — the scriptural 
character of the early bishop, each having the charge of only 
one parish, and being labourers ' in word and doctrine' — the 
presby terial order of the Culdees and their singular piety and 
zeal — all these important points of doctrine and discipline which 
were maintained and practised in the ancient Irish church, 
clearly indicate its opposition to the papal system. u) 

The corrupting influence of the church of Rome, however, 
was gradually extended to this sequestered island, long before 
the papal authority was formally recognised. Several unsuc- 
cessful attempts were indeed made by the Roman pontiffs to 
subject to their domination the Irish church, the last of the na- 
tional churches of the West which preserved its independence. 
It succeeded in resisting these attempts until the middle of 
the twelfth century, when it was at length unhappily sub- 

1 Usshert Discourse of the Religion anciently professed by the Irish, 
Lond. 1631, passim. Jamieson's Hist. Ace. of the Culdees, Edin. 1811. 

A.D. 13-] 500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 3 

jected to the see of Rome. Considerable opposition was at 
first made to the new establishment, principally by the inferior 
clergy and the native chieftains. But pope Adrian IV., 
having arrogantly claimed the sovereignty of the kingdom, 
by a bull Jssueii in the year 1155, formally conferred it on 
Henry II. of England, on condition of bis reducing his newly 
acquired dominions to unqualified subjection to the pope's 
supremacy and conformity with the Romish church. By the 
aid of this powerful auxiliary, all opposition to die papal in- 
novations was silenced, the Irish church was completely assimi- 
lated in doctrine and discipline to that of Rome, every remain- 
ing trace of its primitive purity and independence was speedily 
obliterated ; and after the lapse of a century, Ireland presented 
the same religious aspect as the other countries of Western 

As the value and importance of the Reformation can only be 
justly appreciated from a knowledge of the previous state of re- 
ligion, it will therefore be the first object of this preliminary 
sketch to describe the religious condition of Ireland, during 
the period that elapsed from the full establishment of the papal 
system, till the commencement of the sixteenth century. In 
this country, religion had an ample share of those corruptions 
by which it was so lamentably defaced, and its benign influ- 
ence so generally counteracted, through the rest of Europe. 
Here the authority of the Roman pontiff and his degenerate 
church, reigned supreme, as well over a bigoted and obsequi- 
ous priesthood, as an ignorant and enslaved people ; while the 
political circumstances of the country aggravated the evils 
which had universally resulted from such an uncontrolled and 
unscriptural jurisdiction. 

The turbulent state of the island, and its remoteness from 
the seat of government, prevented the British monarch from 
exercising with effect that control which he claimed over the 
appointment of prelates to the Irish sees. These dignities 
were almost invariably bestowed by the pope, without the re- 
ference to the king required in the sister kingdoms, either for 


his previous license or his subsequent approbation. When a 
vacant see lay contiguous to the English Pale, (2) or promised 
to be a lucrative preferment, the interposition of the sovereign 
was occasionally entreated by a rival candidate, and the para- 
mount claims of the pope, though after much contention, were 
as often overthrown. But this salutary check was seldom 
exercised ; and the Roman pontiff was permitted to fill all the 
influential offices in the church, and not unfirequently in the 
state, with the most obsequious of his adherents. The ready 
communication which, by way of France and Spain, existed 
between Ireland and the court of Rome, by facilitating the 
carrying of appeals thither, and the procuring thence of 
indulgences and other expensive articles of papal manufacture, 
contributed still further to extend and increase the power of 
that court, and proportionally to oppress and impoverish the 

The prelates, therefore, were entirely devoted to the inter- 
ests of the mother-church on which they were so dependent, 
and with which they possessed such facilities of intercourse. 
In other countries, allegiance to the sovereign generally coun- 
teracted, if it did not supersede, this unqualified subservience 
to the authority of the pope ; but the royal power was too weak 
in Ireland to oppose with success the continued extension of 
ecclesiastical domination. Accordingly, the bishops carried the 
authority of the church, and the privileges of their order, to an 
extravagant and intolerable height. They spared neither king 
nor people. The encroachments on the rights of the crown 
occasionally roused the indignation of the sovereign ; (3) but 

2 The Pale included the few counties immediately contiguous to Dublin, 
where the English first settled. This district was more or less extensive, 
according as they were more or less successful in their incursions on the 
neighbouring septs. It included the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, with 
part of Louth, and occasionally extended as fur northward as Newry. 

3 Ware's Works, i. 199. The curious case here related between the 
bishop of Down and Edward I., clearly evinces the usurpation of the clergy 
in the beginning of the fifteenth century. The king called him to account, 
1 , for excluding, in conjunction with the primate, oil clerks born in Eng- 

A.D. 13-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 5 

owing to the troubled state of the kingdom and the weakness 
of the royal authority, these were generally unnoticed. They 
filled the chief offices in the civil government of the king- 
dom, in which they were often guilty of shameless fraud and 
oppression. (4) They arrogantly claimed that their persons 
should be exempted from arrest for debt ; {5) and their pro- 
perties from being taxed without their own consent. On one 
occasion, the prelates of an entire province threatened to de- 
pose their clergy, and to excommunicate the people, because 
they had, without special consent of their superiors, contri- 
buted to a subsidy laid on by Parliament for the exigencies of 
the state. (6) They exercised the right of pardoning felons 
within their diocesses, or of commuting their punishment for 

land from the monasteries within his diocese ; 2, for exercising in his 
manors all the pleas of the crown except four ; 3, for claiming the eiric, or 
ransom, for killing a mere Irishman, or committing felony within his juris- 
diction. After he had been deprived of these exorbitant encroachments, 
he was again brought under censure for breaking into the convent at Down, 
stealing thence the king's letter of license to the prior, &a, to elect a new 
abbot, and then forcibly advancing one of his own creatures to that dignity. 

4 Ware, i. 331. Bicknor, archbishop of Dublin in the fourteenth century, 
was lord treasurer of Ireland for many years. He was excommunicated 
by the Pope, at the instigation of Edward II., for refusing to give any ac- 
count of his administration of the public revenues. The sentence, how- 
ever, was pronounced merely, pro forma, to satisfy the king ; and the de- 
linquent was permitted to join in the performance of divine service at 
Rome, whilst under its operation ; dishonesty being, in the opinion of his 
Holiness, no very flagrant crime. The archbishop was afterwards pardon- 
ed for sundry false writs and acquittances which he had fraudulently insert- 
ed in his account as treasurer ; so that when he did render an account of 
his administration, it had not been a very correct one. The office of lord 
chancellor was at this time almost exclusively filled by bishops. 

* Ware i. 482. Cox. L 222. It was not till the year 1529, that this 
exemption began to be limited. Power was then given, by a provincial 
synod held at Limerick, to the mayor of that city, to imprison clerical 
debtors without danger of incurring the sentence of excommunication — the 
usual penalty for so heinous a sacrilege. , " The clergy made," as might be 
expected, " a grievous outcry against this canon, as an infringement and vio- 
lation of their ecclesiastical privileges." 

8 Sec this case in Ware, i. 478. 


motley. <7) To increase their influence, they studied to trans- 
fer almost every litigated case from the civil to the ecclesias- 
tical tribunals. Their own disputed claims, however, were 
sometimes adjusted, not by the verdict of the law, but by the 
chances of single combat, in which bishops did not hesitate to 
engage by delegated champions. (8) The various orders of the 
clergy, too, were repeatedly encroaching on the privileges of 
each other, and were frequently embroiled in the most un- 
seemly contentions. Bishops opposed the jurisdiction of their 
metropolitans ; (9) and the latter, in their turn, oppressed, 
and sometimes even openly assaulted, their suffragans. (I0) The 
inferior orders were not less refractory and disputatious than 
their superiors.* 11 * The regular or monastic clergy laboured to 
undermine the popularity and diminish the dues of the secu- 

7 See note 3. 

» Cox, i. 76. Ware, i. 406. A bishop of Ossory, in the year 1284, 
prosecuted his right to a manor by combat, and gained it, his champion 
overcoming that of his adversary. 

9 Ware, i. 508. The following charges, exhibited against a bishop of 
Limerick in the latter end of the fourteenth century, will corroborate the 
above assertion. — " That when Torrington, the archbishop of Cashel, 
came to redress the grievances of the Franciscans, and cited this bishop to 
answer them, he laid violent hands on the archbishop, and tore the citation 
from him with such force that he drew his blood — that the bishop having 
been a long time excommunicated for debts due to the apostolic see, paid 
no regard thereto, but acted as usual— that the archbishop having cited him 
for heresy, was, together with his attendant clergy, in danger of being as- 
saulted, if he had not run away ; and that, after he had retired, the bishop, 
clothed in his pontificals, entered the city of Limerick, and by bell, book, 
and candle, publicly excommunicated every person who had supplied the 
archbishop with food or entertainment." See also Ware, i. 528-9, for tbe 
turbulent conduct of a bishop of Waterfbrd towards the bishop of lismore 
and the archbishop of Cashel. 

10 Ware, i. 539. An archbishop of Cashel, in tbe middle of the four- 
teenth century, assaulted a bishop of Waterfbrd, by night, in his lodgings, 
grievously wounded him, and many others who were in his company, and 
robbed him of his goods. See also Cox, i. 91. 

11 So late as 1525, a bishop of Leighlin was murdered by his archdeacon, 
on the high-way, " because he had reproved him for his insolent obstinacy 
and other crimes, and threatened him with further correction." Ware, i. 

iUD. 13.1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 7 

lar or parochial clergy ; while the latter inveighed in the bit- 
terest terms against die idleness and profligacy of the mendi- 
cant orders.* 1 * The clergy of native extraction opposed their 
English brethren, and did not hesitate to charge them with 
corrupting the entire clerical order, by the vices which they 
introduced into the country . (1S) To so great a height were 
these animosities carried, that the king was frequently oblig- 
ed to interfere, in order to secure admission for his country- 
men into vacant benefices in the Irish church. (U) They who 
thus invaded the rights of the sovereign and of each other, 
could not be expected to be very scrupulous in their encroach* 
ments on those of the laity. The people, indeed, were the 
victims of unmitigated oppression ; and both their persona 
and their properties were treated by the priesthood, as if placed 
at their absolute disposal. 

The wealth of the Irish clergy, the chief cause and evidence 
of their corruption,* 15 * was not so exorbitant as in Britain, in 
consequence of the general poverty of the kingdom. The 

u See these contentions related at huge, in Ware, i. 83 and 992; ii. 86. 
Cox, i. 148, and in Mason's history of St. Patrick's cathedral, 138-4. 
Fitzralph, archbishop of Armagh from 1347 to 1359, was the moat vigor- 
ous opponent of the mendicants, for which he was charged with heresy, and 
suffered no little hardship. It is remarkable that the year in which he died, 
Wycliffe, who was acquainted with bis writings, took up the same contro- 
versy in England, which was the first occasion that brought this celebrated 
reformer into prominent notice, and led him to adopt that cardinal prin- 
ciple of Protestantism— the sufficiency of Scripture for all purposes of faith 
and duty. Bellarmine charges Fitzralph with heresy, and states that Wyc- 
liffe derived from the archbishop's writings several of bis alleged errors. 
Bishop Davenant gives the following as an opinion of Fitzralph :— " Ar- 
machani opinio est, quod si omnes Episcopi essent defuncti sacerdotes mi- 
nores possent ordinare." Several very interesting particulars in his life 
may be seen in Anderson's " Sketches of the Native Irish," pp. 14—18. 

M Ware's Annals, ad an. 1185, and Works, i. 439. 

14 See the interference of the king, in the case of the bishop of Down, in 
note 3. It thence appears that both the primate and he excluded all 
Englishmen from benefices in their dioceses. 

15 It was an old saying and a true one, " Ecclesia peperit divitias, et filja 
devoravit matrem," 


devastations occasioned by the perpetual contests of the native 
chieftains impoverished the country, and left but little for the 
priesthood to amass. A northern bishoprick in the fifteenth 
century was so poor, that no occupant could be found for it 
during more than twenty years. <16) Several prelates were ob- 
liged, to have recourse to inferior occupations for support; 
though, in the mean time, their fees to the pope were exacted 
with such unsparing rigour, that even the churches were 
stripped of their ornaments to satisfy his exorbitant de- 
mands. (17) In proportion, however, to the general poverty 
that prevailed, the clergy became the more rapacious and* 
oppressive. The most unjustifiable measures were employ- 
ed to increase their revenues. In the thirteenth century, 
an archbishop of Dublin destroyed in the fire all the leases 
which his tenants, at his own order, had laid before him, and 
by which alone they held their respective properties, that he 
might by this iniquitous procedure the more readily augment 
his income. (18) One of his successors in the same century laid 
the metropolis under an interdict, because the mayor and citizens 
had attempted to limit the exactions of his clergy, and to sub- 
ject their offerings to the priests to certain reasonable regula- 
tions. (19 > In addition to their stated support derived from 
tithes, which were rigorously exacted, numerous other expedi- 
ents for amassing wealth were adopted. Ecclesiastical censures 
were commuted for money. Penances were liberally enjoined, 
that they might be superseded by extravagant fines. Fixed 
dues were demanded for almost every religious office perform- 
ed ; indulgences were regularly set up to sale, and every op- 

16 The bishoprick of Dromore. See Ware, i. 188, 263, 408, for similar 
instances of poverty. 

1 7 Cox, i. 61. a. d. 1229. " Now came over Stephen, the pope's chap- 
lain, to demand the tenth of all moveables, to support the Holy See 
against the Emperor Frederick. It was so hard a tax in Ireland that they 
were fain to part with not only their cadowa and aquavits, but also with 
their chalices and their altar-cloathes." See also ibid. p. 75. Codows 
were the Irish mantles, the chief article of dress. 

i« Ware, L319-20. » Ware, i. 822-8. 

a.d. 13-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 9 

portunity of extorting money was eagerly embraced.* 20 * In 
favourable situations, therefore, the prelates and inferior clergy 
shared among them much of the wealth of the country, a very . 
small proportion of which was consecrated to the advancement 
of useful learning or the encouragement of education among 
the people. 

Learning, which had formerly flourished in Ireland to a 
considerable extent, was now reduced to a very low ebb. The 
want of colleges contributed materially to this national dege- . 
neracy. The higher orders of the clergy were generally edu- 
cated at Oxford, and a large proportion at Paris, and other - 
places on the Continent, and a few of these were undoubtedly 
men of considerable attainments and extensive erudition. 
But the priesthood were content with the scanty instructions , 
which they received at cathedral or collegiate churches, and 
which scarcely fitted them for the celebration of divine ser- 
vice. (21) Attempts had been frequently made to establish col- 
leges at Dublin, Drogheda, and Armagh ; but after a brief 
existence they were soon abandoned through the want of that 
fostering patronage which wealthy prelates might have afford- 
ed. The numerous monasteries that were scattered through 
the island scarcely relieved the general gloom. The know- . 
ledge existing among their indolent inmates was confined to 
the dreams of martyrology, the subtleties of the canon law, or 
the conceits of scholastic theology. Hence the works which 
were produced in Ireland during the two or three centuries 
preceding the Reformation, so far as they are known, were 
both few in number and trifling in matter. Their authors 

20 I may mention, as an instance of prelatical rapacity, the rigour with 
which archbishops levied from the heirs of their suffragan bishops, some of 
their most valuable possessions which they claimed as heriots due them. 
In the fifteenth century an archbishop of Armagh prosecuted this claim on 
the heirs of two of his suffragans, for their best horse, ring and cup. 
Ware, i. 183, 253. 

*i See in a subsequent part of this introduction, the descriptions given by 
archbishop Brown and Sir Henry Sydney, of the wretched ignorance of the 
inferior orders of the clergy even in their times. 


were almost exclusively ecclesiastical* yet scarcely any of their 
writings had reference to die sacred volume, or tended to ad- 
vance the knowledge or promote the practice of religion. The 
lives of imaginary saints and the compilation of fabulous an- 
nals — commentaries on the works of the scholastic doctors, 
and poems in honour of deceased prelates, composed the prin- 
cipal part of their writings.* 22 * 

The standard of their morals was not higher than that of 
their learning. Canonical obedience, everywhere a leading 
feature in the character of the Romish clergy, was grossly 
violated in Ireland by the occasional insubordination of the 
prelates, and the frequent contumacy of the inferior orders. 
It was no unusual spectacle to see rival bishops and priors 
contending for their preferm ents by force of arms ; and in op- 
position to both pope and king, persisting for years in these 
degrading contests. m Their conduct was characterised by 

** See Ware's writers during the centuries store mentioned. I may hero 
observe, that I have searched in vain for any satisfactory notices of die 
contents of the monastic or cathedral libraries in Ireland, immediately prior 
to the Reformation. The following are the only gleanings I have met 
with. 1805. An archbishop of Armagh bequeathed several books to the 
church there. Ware, i. 71. — 1869. A southern chieftain is obliged to 
restore to the church of Limerick, among other things, the books which he 
had taken from it Cox, L 129.— -1438. Mr. Martin White, rector of 
Iiscarton, left to the monastery of Navan a book of the decretals and a 

small Bible. Monast Hiber. 559 1483. An archbishop of Dublin left 

to the abbey of Osney a portiforium, (probably a liturgical book) the mass- 
book, a book called " Pupilla Oculi," and two books of physic Ware, L 
343. — 1500. Dean Alleyne bequeathed to Christ church, Dublin, the 
works of Panormitan, (a celebrated canonist) with the great repertory 
thereon ; also the great repertory of Philip, bishop of Brescia. Mason's St. 
Patrick, 142. 

29 Thus, in the year 1250, there were for a time two bishops of Meath 
contending for that set. Ware, i. 143. — In 1489 there were two bishops 
of Culmore, and the clergy not being able to terminate their disputes, both 
were permitted to enjoy the dignity for many years. Cox, i. 183.— In 
the end of the fifteenth century, the priory of Kilmainham, a dignity 
equal to that of a bishop, was stoutly contested by two candidates, even by 
force of arms, for a considerable time. See this curious case in Ware's An- 
nals, ad an. 1485. 

A.D. 18-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 1 1 

the keenest animosities among themselves, and the most ty- 
rannical op p ress i on towards their people when charged with 
crime ; though at the same time guilty themselves of many 
scandalous violations of the moral law. <*> Whilst chastity 
was lauded and professed by the priesthood as the chief of vir- 
tues, they were notorious for the most shameless profligacy. 
Bishops openly kept their harlots, and alienated the property 
of their sees by prodigal grants to their illegitimate progeny.*** 
Their metropolitans occasionally interfered to repress such scan- 
dalous excesses ; but while the offenders were under the pre- 
scribed discipline, the crime was perhaps repeated, and a new 
penance had again to be endured. (S0) Even the provincialsof 
the regular clergy were not exempt from this general incon- 
tinence, and their offspring sometimes attained the highest 

* A sample of these prelatic oppressions may be seen in Ware, L 408-10, 
in the case of a bishop of Ossory who caused two persons to be burned for 
witchcraft, and imprisoned a supposed accomplice. This man being set at 
liberty by the interposition of one Peer, the indignant bishop excommuni- 
cated the latter for heresy, and had him imprisoned in Dublin. He being 
humanely treated by the lord justice, the bishop again took fire, and accused 
the lord justice himself of heresy— the never-failing expedient, in those days, 
of all discomfited priests. The lord justice, however, freed himself from 
this charge, and convicted the arrogant prelate of gross partiality and injus- 
tice, who was now, in his turn, accused of heresy by his metropolitan, and 
obliged to fly* Having effected his return, however, he excommunicated 
the lord treasurer of the kingdom, and gave abusive language to the chief 
justice while sitting in court He was tried for being an accomplice in the 
murder of one Le Poer, and in the burning of his castle ; but escaped by 
pleading the king's pardon. 

* In 1434, a bishop of Down openly cohabited with a married woman 
whom he kept in his palace ; nor was it till seven years after his metropo- 
litan had noticed his immorality, that he was punished for persisting in this 
flagrant conduct. Ware, i. 202. In 1370, a bishop of Kilmore is described 
by another prelate, as " much blackened on account of his lusts." Ibid. 
227. In 1 469, a bishop of Raphoe was proceeded against for incontinence 
and other offences, " que propter religionis et dignitatis scandalum subtice- 
mus." On submitting to due penance, he was absolved. Ibid. 274. Two 
successive bishops of Ferns laid waste the revenues of that see by grants to 
their bastards. Ibid. 448. 

* See this statement exemplified in the case of a bishop of Deny. Ware, 

i. 290. 



dignities in the church. (27) The inferior orders of the clergy 
did not foil to improve on the example so openly set them by 
their bishops, and to take ample advantage of the license 
afforded by the lax morality of their superiors. {28) Sometimes, 
indeed, a prelate arose, who, detesting such profligacy, sub- 
jected the conduct of bis clergy to stricter scrutiny than usual, 
and thereby revealed, in the number of the offenders, the great 
extent to which these crimes had prevailed. (£)) 

Under a clergy, so ignorant and dissolute, it is no wonder 
that the spirit of true religion had been altogether banished 
from the kingdom. The doctrinal and practical errors which 
defaced the communion of the Romish church need not be 

27 An illegitimate son of a provincial of the Carmelites became archbishop 
of Cashel. Ware, ii. 85. See also the preamble to the bill passed by the 
Irish Parliament in 1569, which will be afterwards given. It may be added, 
that when Bale, in the beginning of the year 1553, came to Knocktopher 
in the county of Kilkenny, the parish priest boasted to him that the last prior 
of the suppressed monastery in that town was his father. " I asked him,'* 
said Bale, " if that were in marriage? He made me answer, No; for that 
was, he said, against his profession. Then counselled I him that he never 
should boast of it more. Why, saith he, it is an honour in this land to 
have a spiritual man, as a bishop, an abbott, a monk, a friar, or a priest, to 
father. With that I greatly marvelled, not so much of his unshamefaced 
talk, as I did that adultery, forbidden of God and of all honest men de- 
tested, should there have both praise and preferment ; thinking in process, 
for my part to reform it* Vocacyon of Johan Bale, apud Harl. Mis. i. 340. 
Lond. 1809. 8vo. 

88 So lately as the beginning of the sixteenth century, the state of the 
morals of the inferior clergy in Gal way was such as to call for the following 
enactments on the part of the corporation of that town. A. D. 1520. 

" That no priest, monk, canon, or friar shall have aw e or leman in any 

man's house within this town ; and that man which keepeth said, &c shall 
forfeit 20s." 1530. " Enacted, that any priest or vicar of the college found 
with any fault or crime, to lose one hundred shillings and their benefice ; 
and also if he or they keep any w e being with child, or bearing him chil- 
dren, to pay the above penalty." Hardiman's Gal way, 1202, 238. 

29 " An archbishop of Dublin," says Ware, " in the end of the twelfth 
century, was such an enemy to incontinence in his clergy, that at one time 
he sent a hundred and forty clerks to Rome, who had been convicted of the 
same, in order to obtain absolution from the Pope, although be had power 
of granting it to them himself." Ware, i. 314. 

A.D. 13-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 13 

enumerated. It is enough to state that they flourished in 
Ireland in their most fatal luxuriance, accompanied by their 
inseparable attendant, the grossest superstition. In propor- 
tion as this baneful spirit extended itself over the kingdom, a 
multitude of monasteries sprang up, which, though originally 
designed for pious and benevolent purposes, speedily degene- 
rated, and in their turn increased the evil that had given 
them birth. Nearly six hundred religious houses, belonging 
to eighteen different monastic orders, were scattered over the 
entire island, the inmates and members of which were calcu- 
lated to be as numerous as all the other inhabitants of the 
kingdom. (a)) These individuals derived their chief support 
from the superstitious feelings of the laity, which were, there- 
fore, the more studiously fostered. A continual rivalry ex- 
isted between the monks and friars on the one hand, and the 
parochial clergy on the other ; each party struggling for the 
pre-eminence in deluding and impoverishing the people. 
Hence the importance that was attached to the sight and 
touch of consecrated relics, to the possession of papal indul- 
gences, and to devout visits to the shrines of favourite saints. 
Crowds of Irish pilgrims resorted to Italy, Spain, and the 
sister kingdoms, many of whom not unfrequently perished in 
these dangerous journies. <31) The Irish clergy, however, pos- 
sessed a station at home, the unrivalled merits of which they 
foiled not to publish through the most distant countries. 
St. Patrick's purgatory, situated in an island in Lough Derg 

30 Monast. Hiber. Pref. p. xi. 

31 In 1451, above fifty persons went out of the diocess of Dublin to Rome, 
to celebrate a jubilee, seven of whom were pressed to death there in a 
crowd, and many more died on their return. Ware, i. 341. We find the 
mayor and bailiffs of Water ford going in pilgrimage to St. James', of Com- 
postella, in Spain. Ware's Annals, ad an. 1483. In 1508, Lady Margaret 
Athy went on a similar pilgrimage. Hardimatt's Galway, 272. Like 
" the wife of Bath," she 

" Thries hadde ben at Jerusaleme, 
She hadde passed many a strange streme ; 
At Rome she hadde ben, and at Boloine, 
In Gal ice, at Seint James, and at Coloine." 


in the county of Donegal, was long a favourite resort with 
the superstitious Romanists. It was set forth as containing 
a passage, through which the devout worshipper might enter 
into the other world, and behold, in all their reality, the 
felicities of the heavenly state, as well as the torments of pur- 
gatory and the pains of hell. (32) Penances performed at this 
privileged station were represented as of special efficacy to 
purge away the deadliest sins, and restore the soul to spot- 
less purity. No wonder then that it was annually visited 
by crowds of devotees, not only from the remoter districts of 
Britain, but even from the most distant parts of Europe. 
So shameless, however, were the impositions practised here 
by the priests on the credulous multitudes, that the indigna- 
tion of the Holy See was excited, and it was ordered by the 
Pope to be demolished at the end of the fifteenth century.* 331 
But it was too gainful a superstition to be relinquished, even 
at the command of the sovereign pontiff himself; and though 
the government, more than once since the Reformation, at- 
tempted to suppress it, (34) it continues to the present day to at- 
tract and delude the people. Many other stations, though of 

** This celebrated station came first' into notice about the middle of the 
twelfth century. I find in Rymer's Foedera, folio edit vol. iii. part i. p. 1 74-5, 
a safe-conduct granted by Edward III. on the 24th October 1856, to Male- 
testa Ungarus, a knight of Rimini in Italy, to visit Lough Derg, who it ap- 
pears was sent thither by the pope to do penance ; (Richardson's Folly of 
Pilg. p. 42.) and another of the same date to Nicholas de Beccario, a no- 
bleman of Ferrara in Lombard?. In Rym. vol. iii. part i v. p. 135, there 
is another safe-conduct granted by Richard IL on the 6th of September 
1397, to Raymond, viscount de Perilleux and knight of Rhodes, with a 
train of twenty men and thirty horses. There is also a testimonial extant 
from Octavianus, archbishop of Armagh, to late as the year 1485, cer- 
tifying that John Garhi, Francis Proly, and John Burgess, three French 
pilgrims, had visited this station, and performed the usual penances. 
Jones's St Fat Purg. p. 68-9. I may add that James Young, a notary- 
public of Dublin, wrote " A History of the pilgrimage of Laurence 
Rathold, a knight and baron of Hungary, to St Patrick's Purgatory, an. 
1411." Ware, ii. 88. 

33 By Pope Alexander VI* in the year 1497. 

34 By the Lords justices of Ireland in the year 1632, and by act of Par- 
liament in the reign of Queen Anne. 

a.d. 13-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 15 

inferior celebrity, existed in various parts of the kingdom, 
where the prescribed penances of the church were performed, 
and where crowds of infatuated votaries sought to obtain ab- 
solution, by rigorous acts of mortification to which they sub- 
jected themselves at these hallowed spots. In these and simi- 
lar degrading observances nearly the whole of practical reli- 
gion was made to consist ; while, at the same time, the doc- 
%trinal truths of the Bible were altogether obscured, and 
( made of none effect' by human traditions. The majesty of 
Jehovah was insulted by the worship of images, pictures and 
crosses ; and his holy law made void by the profligate doe- 
trine of venial, as distinguished from mortal sin. The 
atonement of the Redeemer was superseded by the idola- 
trous sacrifice of the mass ; and the sufficiency of his inter- 
cession denied by the intervention of the Virgin Mary and a 
crowd of saints, as additional and indispensable mediators. 
The efficacy of the Spirit, in purifying the soul from sin, 
was undervalued by the lucrative figment of a purgatorial 
process after death, which it was in the power of the clergy to 
shorten, when bribed by an adequate remuneration. Repen- 
tance was understood as synonymous with bodily penance, 
and faith with dependence on the clergy, who blasphemously 
claimed the prerogative of forgiving sin. Piety was confined 
to the repetition of unmeaning ceremonies or of prayers in an 
unknown tongue; and inward purity of heart was exchanged for 
external conformity with the ritesof the church. Nothingremain- 
ed of die ' Glorious Gospel of die Blessed God ' but the name; 
and even this could scarcely be recognised under the mass of 
superstitious rallies and abuses with which it was encumbered. 
In reverting to the situation of the laity, it will be found to 
have been most deplorable. Without education, without even 
ordinary civilization, enslaved by error and debased by supersti- 
tion, the dupes of designing monks, and the slaves of haughty 
and bigoted priests, what could be expected but the grossest 
ignorance and irreligion P No rank or station could be ex- 
empted from this general character. Even the chiefs and 


nobles were proverbially turbulent and licentious, devoid of 
either religion or education, (35) and characterised, even in those 
unsettled times, by a more than ordinary degree of violence 
and insubordination. The history of Ireland during this pe- 
riod is only a record either of disgraceful combinations among 
these petty despots for the purposes of rapine or revenge ; or 
of dishonourable conspiracies, sometimes against known allies, 
marked by the basest treachery and the most revolting cruel- 
ty. Even religion, which usually commands the supersti- 
tious veneration of the most lawless chieftains, was frequently 
outraged. Neither its temples nor its ministers were secure 
against their violence. So late as the fifteenth century, the 
chief of a northern clan destroyed above forty churches in 
-Ulster, and was himself soon after massacred in one of them, 
to which he had fled for refuge, but which his own previous 
spoliations had rendered insecure. <dG) Noblemen of the high- 
est rank in the kingdom did not hesitate to avenge themselves 
on neighbouring bishops, by the ruin both of their cathedrals 
and their palaces ; (37) while they who were less profane or 
violent, only rushed into the opposite extreme of supersti- 
tion. It is lamentable to read of noblemen sending embassies 
to Rome for permission to translate the bones of favourite 


35 Cox relates, that even so late as the end of Henry VIII.'s reign, 
most of the letters of the great Irish Lords, (even some of English extrac- 
tion) were subscribed with a mark, very few of them being able to write 
their names." i. 281. 

36 MacGilmore was the name of this " corbif as he was called, or un- 
baptized Irishman. He had rifled the church of the Minorites in Carrick- 
fergus, and taken away the iron bars by which the windows were secured ; 
and having afterwards fled to it for refuge from the hostile clan of the Sa- 
vages, he was easily captured and massacred. Ware's Annals, ad an. 1408. 
Cox, i. 147. 

37 In 1369, a southern chief rifled the church of Limerick of its 
books, ornaments, and chalices, which he was afterwards obliged to 
restore. Cox, i. 129. The earl of Kildare being offended with the 
archbishop of Cashel, burnt his cathedral to the ground. Ware's An- 
nals, ad an. 1503. His excuse for (his wanton outrage was, "that he 
would not have done it, but that he thought the archbishop was in it.** 
Cox, 19. 

A.D. 13-1500. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 17 

(saints to more attractive shrines ; <38) and to hear their occa- 
sional reverses of fortune ascribed to their having altered the 
patron saint of some sacred edifice. (39) But it is still more 
lamentable to find them, after lives marked by the deepest 
guilt, confidently resorting to the erection of a chapel or the 
endowment of a monastery, as an infallible passport to the di- 
vine acceptance. The chief magistrates of the first cities in 
the kingdom were content to perform public penances, and to 
go on distant pilgrimages, as atonements enjoined by the 
clergy for ecclesiastical misdemeanours. (40) Inferior delin- 
quents were lustily cudgelled for their sins, and bore with pa- 
tience this degrading discipline, being taught to consider it as 
indispensable to the welfare of the soul. < 4I) 

The mass of the people were, if possible, sunk still deeper 
in ignorance and superstition. To keep the people in pro- 
found darkness has indeed been, when practicable, the policy 
of the Romish church in all countries. But the attainment 
of this object was unhappily facilitated in Ireland by the 
jealousy of the British court, who prohibited the use of the 
Irish language, through the vain idea of banishing it alto- 
gether from the kingdom, to make way for the adoption of 
the English tongue. (42) Though this absurd project failed, 

38 In 1185, John De Courcy sent an embassy to Rome to Pope Urban 
III., for permission to translate the bodies of St. Patrick, Columba, and 
Bridget, just then discovered, as it was thought, at Downpatrick. Ware's 
Annals, ad an. 1 185. 

9 By the above De Courcy the Cathedral of Down, previously dedicated 
to the Trinity, was dedicated to St. Patrick, which, says a contemporary 
annalist, as quoted by Ware, " many believed was the cause of 'all those 
misfortunes that afterwards fell upon him.'* Ware's Annals ad an. 1183. 

40 The mayor of Dublin, in the year 1512, was compelled to go barefoot 
through the city, on account of the citizens having, in a riot, defaced some 
of the images in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Cox, i. 202. See also in note 
(31) the mayor of Waterford sent on a pilgrimage to Spain. 

41 In the year 1268 it was ruled in Dublin by the clergy, that an offend- 
ing citizen should, for the first sin, be fined— for the second, be cudgelled 
about the church — and for the third, be cudgelled in front of the public re- 
ligious processions annually made through the city. Ware, i. 323* 

49 So early as 1367, the use of the Irish language was punished with the 



yet its natural consequence, in the mean time, was to retard 
the instruction of the people, who were, as far as possible, pre- 
vented from obtaining either teachers of their own nation, or 
books in their own language. The benefits of the art of 
printing were not extended to the Irish language till after 
the Reformation, when books were first printed in that cha- 
racter. (43) The clergy had therefore little difficulty in retain- 
ing the people in that profound ignorance, which renders 
them at all times fit subjects of priestly domination. The 
instruction professedly given by their clergy was both ex- 
tremely scanty in itself, and calculated only to deepen the 
gloom in which they were involved. Preaching constituted 
no part of the clerical office ; and what occasionally assumed 
the name, was a tissue of silly fables, or of legendary tales of 
saints and martyrs. The inculcation both of religion and of 
morality was neglected, and their high sanctions were super- 
seded by the mere terrors of bodily penances. The priests 
were often non-resident, (44> and the churches deserted or 
ruined. The Sabbath was systematically profaned, <46) and 
holidays of human institution alone kept sacred. And when 
to all these circumstances are added the example both of the 
civil.and spiritual rulers, and the facilities afforded to the 
most abandoned, of obtaining absolution at their dying hour, 
need we wonder at the violence, insubordination, and profli- 

loss of lands. Cox, i. 127. It had, however, spread so extensively, even 
over the English Pale, that in 1494 this penalty wan withdrawn. Ibid. 

*3 Irish types were introduced into the kingdom in 1571 ; and the first 
book printed with them was a catechism written and printed by John Ker- 
ney, treasurer of St. Patrick's, Dublin, entitled, " Alphabeticum et ratio 
legendi Hibernicam et Catechismus in eadem lingua." 8vo. It was not 
till the year 1602, that the New Testament was printed in this character. 
See subsequent note. 

44 So early as 1357, enactments were made by the Irish church to remedy 
the evil of non-residence ; ( Cox, i. 24) an evil which has never existed in 
Presbyterian, nor been cured in Prelatical, churches. 

46 In the fourteenth century, markets were held principally on the Lord's 
day. , Cox, i. 103. 


gacy by which the wretched population of Ireland were so 
generally characterized ? {4e) 

Such was the state of the Romish church in Ireland prior 
to the Reformation. The slightest consideration of its melan- 
choly details will be sufficient to show the paramount neces- 
sity that existed for overthrowing its arrogant authority, and 
reclaiming it, if possible, to the purity and simplicity of the 
church of Christ. The measures adopted for this purpose 
during the reigns of Henry, Edward, and Elizabeth, will 
now be briefly detailed. 

The spirit of religious inquiry did not display itself in 
Ireland so early as in either of the sister kingdoms. The 
turbulent and distracted state of the island, its limited com- 
mercial intercourse with the more civilized countries of 
Europe, its want of colleges and schools, and of books printed 
in the native language of the country, were all extremely 
unfavourable to the introduction of new ideas in science or 
religion. The ancient faith, consecrated by time and defended 
by power, maintained an unquestioned sway over the minds 
of the ignorant and uninquiring natives ;— -while the English 
settlers of the same faith, being chiefly intent on extending 
their conquests, were equally indisposed to indulge in con- 
troversial disquisitions. A profound silence, therefore, on 
the subject of religion, universally prevailed. "While the 
most important controversies were everywhere agitating the 
Romish church to its centre, Ireland alone, among the states 
of Europe, was involved in the stillness of death. Here 
there were no external circumstances to provoke or cherish a 
spirit of inquiry. There was no political opposition to the 
temporal encroachments of the Pope to pave the way, as in 
Britain, France, and Germany, for overturning his spiritual 
domination. There were no extraordinary exactions to rouse 
the indignation of the people long habituated to the most 
grievous oppression. There were no educated nobles to en- 

40 See a shocking instance of their sacrilegious conduct recorded by Cox, 
i. 109, 


courage inquiry, or patronize opposition to the ambitious 
claims of the priesthood. Nor were there any poets to expose 
the vices of the clergy, and by the powerful aid of ridicule 
and satire, to open the eyes of men to their venality and cor- 
ruption. <47> We accordingly find here none of those precur- 
sors of the Reformation, discernible in the suppression of 
books and the punishment of heretics, in the increased vigi- 
lance of the priests and in enactments against free inquiry, (48> 
which in other countries both indicated and hastened the pro- 
gress of the truth. 

The kingdom was thus totally unprepared for the meditated 
change in religion, when Henry VIII., anxious not for the 
doctrines of the Reformation, which he had never received or 
professed, but merely to overthrow the authority of the Roman 
pontiff, sent his commissioners hither to proclaim the royal 
supremacy, and demand the subjection of the Irish prelates 
to his own ecclesiastical power. The chief agent employed in 

*7 The great influence which poetry had in paving the way for the Refor- 
mation in other counties, is illustrated with his characteristic accuracy and 
learning) by Dr. M'Crie, in note k appended to the first volume of his 
«' Life of Knox." The Irish bards, prior to the Reformation, do not appear 
to have strung their harps in censure of their clergy. 

48 No legislative notice was taken of the reformed doctrines till the reign 
of Queen Mary, in the year 1556 ; when an act was passed for reviving 
three statutes enacted for the punishment of heretics in England, but not 
previously in force in Ireland ; for the preamble runs thus : — " For that 
the ordinaries have wanted authority to proceed against those that were 
infected therewith ; therefore be it enacted," &c. The statutes revived 
were 5 Rich. II. chap. 5 — 2 Hen. IV. chap. 15, and 2 Hen. V. chap. 7. 
This last statute is M concerning the suppression of heresy and Lallardy." 
The latter was a name of contempt for Protestantism before the Refor- 
mation. Leland indeed states, that " in the famous Parliament held in the 
tenth year of Henry VII. (a. d. 1495) laws had been revived to prevent 
the growth of Lollardism and heresy. n Hist. ii. 158. But I cannot find 
any such laws among the printed statutes of that Parliament. Henry's writ 
constituting George Brown, — who is described as professor of theology, 
and provincial of the Augustinians of the city of London, — archbishop of 
Dublin, is dated March 12, 1536. Rym. Feed. vol. vi. part 2, p. 222. 
There is an error in the year here given ; it ought to be 1595, or more 
accurately 1534-5. 


this important negociation was George Brown, who was con- 
secrated archbishop of Dublin on the 1 9th of March 1535. (40 > 
His opposition to some of the doctrinal errors of the church 
of Rome, while provincial of the Augustinian order in Eng- 
land, had attracted the notice of Henry, and pointed him out 
as a fit instrument for accomplishing his designs in Ireland. 
Charged with the royal commission, he hastened to Dublin, 
and in a conference with the principal clergy and nobility of 
the kingdom, laid before them his instructions, and required 
them to acknowledge the king's supremacy. To a similar 
demand in England, a ready acquiescence had been given, 
because the spirit of religious inquiry had already detected 
many of the errors of Popery, while the clergy had long been 
habituated to bow to the authority of the sovereign to whom 
they owed their preferments. But as a totally opposite state 
of things existed in Ireland, so a different result followed. 

The proposal of Archbishop Brown met with the prompt 
and decided opposition of Cromer, archbishop of Armagh, 
and of his suffragan clergy. Cromer defended with vigour 
the papal supremacy. He rested his chief argument on the 
assumption, that the British monarch owed his authority 
over Ireland entirely to the liberality of the Pope ; and con- 
cluded with boldly pronouncing a curse on all who should 
dare to own the supremacy of the heretical and ungrateful 
king. He indignantly withdrew himself and his bishops 
from the metropolis, sent messengers to Rome to apprize 
the Pope of these proceedings, and laboured to excite both 
the nobility and the clergy to resist the attempted usurpa- 
tion. These vigorous measures, which were well adapted to 
the circumstances of the country, were met, on the other 

* The subsequent notices of Brown in the text, are taken from a rare 
tract, entitled, " Historical Collections of the Church in Ireland, &c. set 
forth in the Life and Death of George Brown, some time Archbishop of 
Dublin." Lond. 1681, 4to. pp. 18. This tract is to be found in Ware's 
works, Dub. 1705, fol. and in the fifth volume of the " Harleian Mi»c«4« 
lany. M 


aide, with the most reserved and cautious opposition. For 
nearly a whole year, no means were taken to disseminate the 
truth, or excite a spirit of religious inquiry in the kingdom. 
Every thing was permitted to remain in its former state, till, 
at the suggestion of Archbishop Brown, a parliament was 
called in May 1536, to take the necessary measures for hav- 
ing the king's supremacy, — the chief object of anxiety,— 
formally and efficiently acknowledged. This assembly ulti- 
mately acceded to the wishes of the Government, then ad- 
ministered by Lord Leonard Grey. Brown was the first to 
vote for the acknowledgment of the royal supremacy. He 
defended this measure, not on those great principles of reli- 
gious liberty which were urged by the English Protestants, 
but upon some ancient precedents that had been set by the 
Romish see; and he endeavoured to persuade the other 
peers to adopt it, by this characteristic argument,—" he who 
will not pass this act as I do, is no true subject to his majes- 
ty." Though the proposal was at first resented both by the 
nobility and the commons, yet the government party succeed- 
ed in silencing their opposition, and in procuring the enact- 
ment of all the laws deemed necessary for the required alter- 
ation of the national faith. Of these the following are the 
most remarkable : — The king was declared the supreme head 
of the church on earth ; the authority of the Pope was so- 
lemnly renounced; the supporters of the papal supremacy 
were declared guilty of high treason ; all appeals to Rome 
were strictly forbidden, together with the payment of dues and 
the purchasing of dispensations ; several religious houses were 
dissolved, and their revenues vested in the crown ; and the 
projected alteration was completed by the enactment of severe 
penalties against those who should slander the king, or, on 
account of those innovations, style him usurper or tyrant, 
heretic or schismatic. 

So far, therefore, as legislative enactments could avail, and 
so far as one monstrous dogma of popery was concerned, the 
Reformation had successfully commenced. But this first step 


was productive of little real benefit. Though publie opposi- 
tion was silenced in all places where the British power prevail- 
ed, which included a very limited portion of the island, yet 
secret discontent only increased the more ; and throughout 
the remainder of the kingdom, the partizans of the Romish 
church became more zealous and more devoted to her cause. 
The supremacy of the Pope was indeed formally renounced; 
but it was only to transfer the same unscriptural power to the 
Ling ; while the rest of the grosser errors and corruptions of 
that church were permitted to remain unquestioned and un- 

During the two years subsequent to this meeting of Par- 
liament, no account has been preserved of the progress whieh 
the Reformation was making, even in the metropolis. The 
inferior clergy had not imbibed the spirit or acceded to the 
measures of Archbishop Brown ; nor does he himself appear 
to have as yet aimed at any other object than the acknowledg- 
ment of the king's supremacy. But in the beginning of the 
year 1538, at the express command of Lord Cromwell, the 
king's favourite minister in England, he ordered the images 
and relics to be removed from the cathedral and the other 
churches of his province. So little alteration, however, had 
as yet taken place in the minds of the clergy, and so limited 
was the authority of the archbishop, that his order was suc- 
cessfully evaded. (fi0 > Perplexed by this opposition in his own 
diocese, he wrote, in the month of April, to his patron and 
chief adviser, Lord Cromwell, informing him of the difficul- 
ties which had occurred in the execution of his commission, 

80 It would appear, however, by the following extract from Ware, that in 
tome other parts of the country this order had been partially complied with : 
" Also, about the same time, (i. e. May, 1538) among other famous images 
whereunto pilgrimages were designed, the statue of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary was burnt, then kept at Trim, in the abbey of the canons regular. 
The image of Christ crucified in the abbey of Ballibogan, and St. Patrick's 
staff in the cathedral church of the Holy Trinity at Dublin, underwent the 
like rate. The same was done in many other places, according to the ex- 
ample of England/' Ware's Annals, ad an. 1538. 


and requesting a renewal of the order, with additional power 
to enforce its observance. The following extracts from this 
letter will more clearly evince the state of religions matters 
at this period than any formal description. In a previous 
letter he had said : " This island hath been for a long time 
held in ignorance by the Roman orders ; and as for their 
secular orders, they be in a manner as ignorant as the people, 
being not able to say mass or pronounce the words, they not 
knowing what they themselves say in the Roman tongue." 
He now repeats the same statement. " The people of this 
nation be zealous, yet blind and unknowing ; most of the 
clergy, as your lordship hath had from me before, being igno- 
rant and not able to speak right words in the mass or liturgy, 
as being not skilled in the Latin grammar, so that a bird may 
be taught to speak with as much sense as several of them do 
in this country. — The Romish reliques and images of both 
my cathedrals in Dublin took off the common people from the 
true worship ; but the prior and the dean find them so sweet 
for their gain, that they heed not my words. Therefore send, 
in your lordship's next, to me an order more full, and a chide 
to them and their canons, that they might be removed. Let 
the order be, that the chief governors may assist me in it." 
He also informs Lord Cromwell that several of his clergy 
had resigned their benefices, but that he would not supply 
their places till he received further orders. At the same 
time, he apprizes his lordship, probably with the view of 
rousing him to more vigorous measures against the Roman- 
ists, of their contemptuous treatment of himself, — " the 
country-folk here much hate your lordship, and despitefully 
call you, in their Irish tongue, the blacksmith's son." (51) 

But scarcely had this letter been despatched, when infor- 
mation reached Dublin, that the primate, Cromer, had re- 
ceived from Rome the strictest injunctions, as well as the 
most extensive commission, to maintain the authority of the 

61 This was literally the fact His father was a blacksmith at Putney, 
near London. 


Pope, to resist the usurpations of the king, and to declare 
those accursed who acknowledged any power superior to that 
of the mother-church. By the same emissaries who conveyed 
these orders to the archbishop, the northern chieftains were 
excited to take arms against the heretical English, and to 
invade the territories of the pale. This opposition was 
promptly quelled by the vigorous measures of the lord-deputy, 
who routed the insurgents in May, 1539, and effectually 
intimidated all the military partizans of the Pope's supre- 

But the opposition of the Romish clergy could not be so 
promptly or effectually silenced. So far, indeed, as power 
could avail, it was freely employed. The monasteries and 
other religious houses were now formally suppressed, and the 
abbots and priors who had voluntarily surrendered, were 
pensioned by the king. (53) But in the remoter parts of the 
kingdom, the order for their dissolution was disregarded, and 
these powerful allies of the proscribed faith existed for half a 
century longer. m) The oath of supremacy was now freely 
taken by clergy and nobles, but as freely broken when the 
power which enforced it was removed. As the more im- 
portant bishopricks. became vacant, the new prelates were 
willing enough to receive the formality of their preferment 
from the king, and promise conformity to his views. But 
most of them, notwithstanding, continued attached to the in- 
terests of the Romish church ; and in the remoter districts, 

* Leland, ii. 1 15. 

53 Ware's Annals, ad an. 1539. By the parliament in 1541, the full and 
free disposal of all the abbeys, &c. was vested in the king. By the same 
parliament it was enacted, " that laymen and boys should not be admitted 
to ecclesiastical preferments," thus plainly intimating that such perversions 
of church-offices had frequently taken place. 

M Sir John Davis relates, that " the abbies and religious houses in Ty- 
rone, Donegall, and Fermanagh, though they were dissolved in the 33d 
year of Henry VIII. were never surveyed nor reduced into charge, but 
were continually possessed by the religious persons ; M and this state of 
things existed till the reign of James I. Leland, ii. 185. 


even this formality of royal investiture was neglected or 
regarded, and the sees were, as formerly, disposed of by the 
Pope, without interruption or control. (M) The inferior clergy 
remained unenlightened in their views, and undisturbed in 
their preferments ; and where the more devoted adherents to 
Rome had resigned, few reformed pastors could be found to 
occupy their places and excite a spirit of religious inquiry 
among the people. The reverses, too, which at this period 
occurred in the progress of the Reformation in England, by 
the passing of the " Six acts " in the year 1538, (56) and the 
unjust execution of Lord Cromwell two years afterwards, (57) 
extended their influence to Ireland, where both the reformed 
clergy and laity, as yet few in number, were but too well 
disposed to yield to their disheartening effects. At the death 
of Henry VIII., therefore, in the year 1547, tne Reforma- 
tion can scarcely be said to have been effectually introduced 
into Ireland. In England, notwithstanding the discourage- 
ments experienced in the latter years of Henry's reign, the 
Pope's supremacy had been completely overthrown, an influ- 
ential proportion of the clergy had received the knowledge of 
the truth, and many of their people far exceeded their rulers 
in attachment to the reformed doctrines. But in Ireland, 
the contrary was the case. The civil authorities alone sup- 
ported the cause ; the rest of the influential classes were either 
obstinately attached to the Romish see, or sunk in ignorance 
and unconcern. 

25 The sees of Clogher, Deny, and Raphoe, were thus disposed of till 
the year 1605. Ware's bishops. 

06 These acts decreed, (1) the doctrine of transubstantiation ; (2) com- 
munion in one kind ; (3) the celibacy of the clergy ; (4) vows of chastity ; 
(5) private masses for souls in purgatory; and (6) auricular confession. 
The penalties annexed to a breach of these articles were, for the first, to 
be burned as an heretic ; for the others, to be hanged as a felon, and to 
forfeit lands and goods as a traitor ! Collier, Ecc His. ii. 168-9. 

5 7 Lord Cromwell, the 'patron and friend of Archbishop Brown, was a 

great pillar of the Reformation in England. " He was beheaded July 

30th, on a bill of attainder, without being brought to trial, or allowed to 

speak for himself." Neal, i. 28. 



The reign of Edward VI. proved more favourable to the 
advancement of the truth. Its beneficial influence, however, 
was far from being immediately felt in Ireland. During the 
first four years after his accession to the throne, no steps were 
taken to carry forward the work that had been so imperfectly 
commenced by his capricious and tyrannical father ; while in 
England, during the same period, the Reformation was 
anxiously fostered, and advanced with rapid strides. Thus a 
book of instructive homilies was composed for the use of the 
inferior clergy, as yet unaccustomed to the work of public 
preaching. English Bibles were placed in every parish 
church ; the mass was changed into the communion in both 
elements, and tables in the centre of the church were substi- 
tuted for altars ; divine worship in all its parts was appoint- 
ed to be conducted in English, and a book of common prayer 
compiled ; while learned foreigners were placed in the univer- 
sities, and zealous preachers were employed in itinerating la- 
bours among the awakened and inquiring people. <M) 

But in Ireland only one of these rational and effective 
plans of reform was introduced, and that, too, by no meant 
the most urgent. On the 6th of February, 1551,- King Ed- 
ward issued a proclamation to the lord deputy, requiring the 
English common prayer-book to be used throughout the 
kingdom in the celebration of divine worship. A remarka- 
ble variation, indicative of the pusillanimous spirit in which 
the Reformation was pressed in Ireland, is observable be- 
tween this proclamation and that by which the same measure 
was carried in England. In the latter country, the British 
Parliament did not hesitate to describe the new liturgy as 
altogether different from that used by the Romish Church,— 
as ' an order of divine worship agreeable to Scripture and 
the primitive church, and concluded on by the bishops with 
the aid of the Holy Ghost.' But in the proclamation for 

m Burnet's History of the Reformation, fol. ii. 71. — Coll. Ecc. His. 
ii. 263. — See also period iii. of M'Crie's Life of Knox. Knox was a 
preacher in England from 1549 to 1554. 


Ireland, the timid council did not venture to set forth the 
book in its real character. They merely state, in the name 
of the king, that they had caused the liturgy and prayers of 
the church to be translated into the mother-tongue of the 
realm of England by the assembly of divines lately met there ; 
and as such, — a mere translation of the Romish service,— 
they require it to be adopted in all the churches in Ireland. 
Distrusting this artifice, however, as insufficient to impose 
on the wary clergy, and desirous of facilitating the adoption 
of the new service by more effectual means, Sir Anthony 
Saintleger, the lord deputy, called an assembly of the pre- 
lates and clergy in the month of March, to whom he submit- 
ted the service-book previous to its general circulation, and at 
the same time required their co-operation in effecting the 
wishes of the king. Of the proceedings of this conference 
a contemporary annalist has preserved the following narrative. 
It is necessary to premise that at the death of Cromer, in the 
year 1543, George Dowdal had succeeded to the primacy at 
the recommendation of Saintleger, and on the nomination of 
Henry VIII. ; but that nevertheless, he continued to be the 
zealous partizan of the Romish church. " Sir Anthony 
Saintleger having spoken," in support of the prayer-book, 
" George Dowdal stood and laboured with all his power and 
force to oppose the liturgy, that it might not be read or sung 
in the church, saying, ' then shall every illiterate fellow read 
service or mass,' as he, in those days, termed the word ser- 
vice. To this saying of the archbishop's Sir Anthony re- 
plied, ' No, your grace is mistaken ; for we have too many 
illiterate priests amongst us already, who can neither pro* 
nounce the Latin nor know what it means, no more than the 
common people that hear them : but when the people hear the 
litany in English, they and the priest will then understand 
what they pray for.'* Upon this reply, George Dowdal bade 
Sir Anthony beware of the clergy's curse. Sir Anthony 
made answer, ' I fear no strange curse so long as I have the 
blessing of that church which I believe to be the true one.' 


The archbishop again said, ' can there be a truer church than 
the church of St. Peter, the mother-church of Rome ?' Sir 
Anthony returned this answer, ( I thought we had all been of 
the church of Christ, for he calls all true believers in him, 
his church, and himself the head thereof.' Then George 
Dowdal rose up and several of the suffragan bishop under 
his jurisdiction, and left the conference. Sir Anthony then 
took up the order and held it forth to George Brown, arch* 
bishop of Dublin, who, standing up, received it, saying : ' this 
order, brethren, is from our gracious king, and from the rest 
of our brethren, the fathers, and clergy of England who have 
consulted herein, and compared the Holy Scriptures with 
what they have done ; unto whom I submit, as Jesus did to 
Caesar, in all things just and lawful, making no question why 
or wherefore, as we own him our true and lawful king."' " {8B) 
After this characteristic conference, the liturgy was adopted 
only by four other prelates. On easter-day it was solemnly 
used, for the first time, in Christ church, Dublin, in pre- 
sence of all the civil and ecclesiastical authorities ; and was 
soon after printed, with annexed rules for ecclesiastical habits 
and ceremonies. (00) 

• Hist Coll. of the church in Ireland, p. 9. 

00 This is said to be the first book printed in Ireland, its printer, Hum- 
phrey Powell, having come from England the same year in which it ap- 
peared. — " In 1548 and 1549, he dwelt above Holborn Conduit in Lon- 
don ; from thence he went to Ireland in 1551, and is said to have been the 
first who introduced the art into that kingdom.** Ames' Typ. Ant. ii. 

709 The title of the book runs thus : — " The boke of common prayer 

and administration of the sacramentes and other rites and ceremonies of the 
churche, after the use of the church of England. Dubliniae, in officina 
Humfredi Powell, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. Anno Domini" Among the annexed rules, it was ordered, " as touching kneel- 
ing, crossing, holding up of hands, knocking upon the breast, and other 
gestures, they may be used or left out, as every man's devotion serveth, 
without blame.** Again,—" If there be a sermon, or for other great cause, 
the curate by his discretion may leave out the litany.** The early history 
of printing in Ireland like many other branches of our national antiquities, 
has not, as yet, been satisfactorily explored ; the sketch given in Ames* 
Typ. Ant. being very imperfect. Very little printing was executed in 


Little advantage accrued to the truth from this change in 
public worship, especially when unsupported by the other 
reforms with which the same measure was accompanied in 
England. Its actual adoption, too, was extremely limited. 
Of the four bishops by whom it was formally received in 
Dublin, one being blind, resigned his see in the following 
month. ^ Another was extremely unpopular, being de» 
scribed by his contemporaries as cruel, avaricious, and op* 
pressive even to his clergy.* 62 * The dioceses of the other 

Dublin before the year 1600 ; and after that date it appears to have beta 
carried on for a length of time, by persona employed by the London Com- 
pany of Stationers. Bolton's " Statutes of Ireland " was so printed in 
1620 ; and this is the earliest English book that I can find, printed here 
after the commencement of the century ; though there can be little doubt 
there were many of an earlier date. Sir John Davis' " Prinrier Reports 
des Cases, &c." purports to be printed at Dublin in 1615 ; but, not having 
seen a copy, I presume from the title it is written in Norman-French. 
Bolton's Statutes was followed by Sibthorp's " Friendly Advertisement to 
the Pretended Catholics of Ireland," 1628. Leslie's Treatise tending a§ 
Unity, 1628. Jerome's Ireland's Jubilee, 1624. Andrews' Quaternion 
of Sermons, 1625. Sibthorp's reply, 1625 ; and his Surreplication, 1627. 
These are a few of the English books that I have met with printed in 
Dublin before 1630, after which period they become too numerous to be 
specified within the limits of a note. Several of Ussher's works printed 
at London in 1630 and 1631 are stated to be " printed in London for the 
partners of the Irish stock." Parr, in his life of Ussher (p. 36) says, that 
Ussher's Life of Gotteschalcus, published in 1631, was the first Latin 
book printed in Ireland. This statement has been copied without inquiry by 
all succeeding writers of the primate's life ; but it is manifestly incorrect, as 
I find two Latin works, by Sir James Ware, were previously printed hern, 
viz. " Archiepiscoporum Cassiliensium et Tuamensium vita?," Dub. 1626 ; 
and " De Pnesulibus Lagenie, liber unus." Dub. 1628. What better 
subject for a prize-essay could be proposed by the learned societies of Dub- 
lin, than an inquiry into the history of printing in Ireland, with a cata- 
logue raisonne' of the more curious books, and sketches of Irish printers ? 

81 John Coyn, or Quin, bishop of Limerick, originally a Dominican friar, 
being blind and disabled by infirmities, resigned his see, April 0th, 1551. 
Ware's bishops. 

02 Robert Travers had been, the year before, made bishop of Leighlin. 
" His chancellor," says Ware, " gave him the character of a cruel, avarw 
cious man, and an oppressor of his clergy." 


two lay contiguous to the metropolis ; and in the most exten- 
sive of them, scarcely any of the churches were occupied 
by reformed ministers. (63) This single measure, therefore, 
though it had even been, more excellent in itself, could have 
scarcely any effect in accelerating the reformation of the king- 
dom. The enemies of the truth, too, were at this period er> 
oouraged in their opposition to it, as well by the vigour and 
boldness of the primate Dowdal on the one hand, as by the 
remissness of the deputy in supporting it on the other. At 
the suggestion, however, of archbishop Brown, who, it is al- 
leged, accused him of treason, Saintleger was recalled from 
the Government. Though no specific acts have been men- 
tioned on which this accusation was founded ; yet, from his 
having been the person afterwards selected by Mary for re- 
storing the Romish faith in Ireland, it may be fairly inferred 
that, notwithstanding his able reasoning in defence of the Re- 
formation against Dowdal, he had been an insincere professor 
of its doctrines. 

Saintleger was succeeded by Sir James Croft, who, in the 
month of April, 155S, assumed the reins of Government 
His first anxiety was to ensure the general reception of the 
English liturgy, and thereby accomplish the object in which 
his predecessor had failed. But though he employed for this 
purpose the most conciliatory methods, he did not prove 
more successful. In the month of June, he despatched a 
respectful letter to Dowdal, who had retired in disgust to 

K Edward Staples, bishop of Meath, warmly adopted the liturgy ; Imt 
from the state of his diocese, as represented by Sir Henry Sydney twenty- 
five years afterwards, it could scarcely have been used for want of minis* 
ten. Thomas Lancaster, of Kildare, was the fourth prelate that sup* 
ported Brown. He had been consecrated about half a-year before ; and, k 
is probable, that the new service was not used beyond the precincts of his 
own cathedral. When Bale came to the diocese of Ossory, two years af- 
terwards, he complains that his clergy obstinately refused to use it : " I had 
earnestly," he says, " ever since my first coming, r equired them to observe 
and follow that only book of common-prayer ; but that would they at no 
hand obey.*'— 'Bale's Vocacyon, *t supra, p. 349. 


Mary's Abbey, then in the suburbs of the city, reminding 
him of the obedience which he owed to the king ; and in the 
hope of inducing him to join with the other prelates in adopt- 
ing the liturgy, he requested Dowdal to appoint a place, 
" where," as Sir James artfully expressed it, " he might con- 
veniently have an opportunity of appeasing wrath between the 
fathers of the church and his grace." With this request the 
primate complied, though he declined appearing at the de- 
puty's palace, and at the same time expressed his apprehen- 
sions of the inutility of the proposed conference. " I fear," 
he said, " that it is in vain for me to converse with an ob- 
stinate number of churchmen, and in vain for your lordship 
to suppose the difference between us can be so soon appeas- 
ed, as our judgments, opinions and consciences are so dif- 
ferent.'*** But Sir James, anxious to secure the co-operation 
of one who held the highest station in the Irish church, ap- 
pointed the conference to be held at the temporary residence 
of Dowdal. Staples, bishop of Meath, advocated the re- 
formed mode of worship ; while the primate, at the head of 
his suffragan clergy, undertook to defend the service of the 
mass. Like all similar discussions, the conference terminated 
without effecting any change in the sentiments of either party, 
both of whom retired more firmly attached to their previous 
opinions. In October following, the primacy of Ireland was 
transferred from Armagh to Dublin, with the view of morti- 
fying Dowdal and his partisans, and, at the same time, of 
encouraging Brown and the reformed clergy. This expe- 
dient, inadequate as it was to meet the exigencies of the 
case, had the desired effect. Dowdal soon after fled to the 
continent, and the popish party were thus, at a very cri- 
tical period, deprived of their most influential leader. (65) 

Notwithstanding this partial triumph, the cause of the 
Reformation advanced but slowly. None of the other im- 
portant measures, already adopted with success in England, 

«* Harris's MSS. Roy. Dub. Soc. vol. iv. p. 472. 
« Leland, ii. 197—9. 

A.b. 1552. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 33 

were even attempted to be introduced into Ireland ; nor did 
the lord deputy, though he commenced his government 
with apparent zeal, continue to exert himself in behalf of the 
truth. Though it was an express article in his instructions 
from the British court, to have the service of the church 
translated into Irish for general use throughout the kingdom, 
yet no steps were taken to carry into effect this most wise 
and salutary proposal. Neither was the want of preachers, 
even in the metropolis, yet supplied. The lord chancellor 
Cusack, in a letter to the duke of Northumberland, in the 
year 1552, states that they had no preaching throughout the 
year, and justly ascribes to this lamented deficiency the ig- 
norance and insubordination which prevailed in all parts of the 
kingdom. ^ 

To account for the slow progress of the truth at this pe- 
riod, it has been Asserted, that the indiscreet violence of the 
persons who were commissioned to remove the idolatrous 
images out of the churches, but who, at the same time, 
stripped them of their most necessary furniture, tended to in- 
flame the prejudices of the people against the reformed faith. 
No evidence of such precipitate zeal can be discovered. One 
of Sir James Croft's instructions doubtless was, to " prevent 

08 Quoted by Leland (ii. 193,) from the original in Trinity College, 
Dublin. I examined this MS. in the College Library. It is in F. & 16, 
No. 6, and is dated May 8, 1552. It is a long and very important docu- 
ment, giving a geographical and statistical account of the entire kingdom ; 
but I could not meet with the passages quoted by Leland. As a sample 
of its contents I subjoin a paragraph, descriptive of the county Antrim at 
that period, p. 72. — " The country of Claneboy is in woods and bogs for 
the greatest part ; wherein lies Carrickfergus and so to the Glynns, where 
the Scotts do inhabit such of this country as is near the sea, a champaign 
country of twenty miles in length, and not over four miles in breadth or 
Kttle more. The same Hugh (Oge O'Neill) hath two castles ; one called 
Belfast, an old castle standing upon a ford that leadeth from Ards to 
Claneboy, which being well repaired (being now broken down) would be a 
good defence betwixt the woods and Knockfergus. The other called Cat* 
tlereagh is four miles from Belfast, upon the plain in the midst of the> 

VOL. I. B 


the sale of bells, church-goods, and chauntry lands. r,(67) These* 
however, had been, as in England, fraudulently laid hold of 
by the laity, sometimes even by the clergy, who, in the midst 
of the confusions produced by the change of the national faith, 
were desirous of enriching themselves at the expense of some 
neglected and forsaken church or monastery. It is not even 
hinted that these spoils had been seized by the outrageous 
zeal of popular fury against popery. On the contrary, the 
mention of" chauntry lands" plainly intimates that they had 
Jbeen surreptitiously obtained ; and it was against this private 
peculation, that the deputy was instructed to guard. Only 
one instance of that indiscreet ardour, which some historians 
deplore, is produced to justify their censure. But the spolia- 
tion alluded to did not proceed from religious but military 
zeal. In the contests between Sir Nicholas Bagnall and an 
Irish chief, in the year 1552, the garrison of Athlone ob- 
tained a temporary triumph at Glonmacnoise ; when in re- 
venge for some losses which they had previously sustained, 
they plundered the country, and, in this work of retaliation, 
pillaged the church and destroyed what they could not carry 
away. The Irish annals, which contain the only authentic 
narrative of this transaction, describe it, agreeably to the trans-? 
lation of an eminent Roman Catholic ecclesiastic, as the work 
of foreigners, not of protestants. (68) Such a spoliation, there- 
fore, cannot surely be ascribed to religious fury, or afford any 
jnst ground for the lamentations in which even protestant 
historians have joined, over the ruthless and sacrilegious zeal 

*7 Cox, i. 290. 

68 The late Charles O'Connor, D. D. librarian to the duke of Bucking- 
ham, the very highest authority on points of this nature, has given (Hist. 
Address, part ii. p. 307) the following translation of the original passage 
from the Irish Annals. — " Cluanmacnoise plundered and ravaged by the 
Gals — t. c. the Foreigners not the Protestants— ot Athlone, and the great 
bells carried off from the steeple. They did not leave a small or a great 
bell, an image or an altar, or a book, or hardly a pane of glass in any of the. 
windows from one end to the other of the church which they did not carry 
off.** The explanatory clause initalica is inserted by Dr. O'Connor. 


of the early reformers/®* In truth, the prejudices of the 
Romanist party, instead of being at this period unnecessarily 
shocked, were but too studiously consulted ; and so far from 
there being an excess, there was a most deplorable want, of 
sincere and earnest zeal in all the measures adopted for the 
advancement of true religion. None of the reformers, not 
even archbishop Brown himself, seems to have been impress- 
ed with a deep or honest conviction of the pernicious nature 
of the errors of popery ; nor did any of them advance a single 
step in the work of reformation, to which they had not been pre- 
viously urged by the English government. 

The primacy and several of the Irish sees being now vacant, 
efforts were made at the English court to procure adequate 
persons to fill these influential situations. Application was 

® It affords a curious illustration of the origin and progress of historical 
error, when we discover a leading author on any side taking a particular 
view of a transaction, to observe how those who follow after him, instead 
of examining the accuracy of his statement, unhesitatingly adopt it. This, 
is strikingly exemplified in the present case. Leland assumed that the de- 
struction of the church at Clonmacnoise was owing to " the barbarous atri 
heathen fury " of those who were commissioned to remove the idolatrous 
images from the churches. Upon this view of a solitary transaction, he 
does not hesitate to brand the reformers, generally, as sacrilegious spoilers 
of " all the most valuable furniture of the churches.'* Stuart, in his valu- 
able " History of Armagh," (p. 239,) adopts the same view, and states 
that they executed their commission " in the most violent, outrageous, and 
indecent manner." But he gives us no additional facts or authorities. 
Taylor, another Protestant writer, in his *' Civil Wars of Ireland," (i. 108,) 
forming No. 73 of Constable's Miscellany, refers to this never-failing case 
of Clonmacnoise, as teaching the Romanists that " the new system sane- 
tioned sacrilege and robbery ;" and, he adds, that " similar excesses were 
committed in other parts of the country.'' But still we are not furnished 
with any specific cases. Until such therefore be pointed out from authentic 
sources, I cannot join with these and various other protestant writers in 
condemning the Irish reformers on the solitary case of Clonmacnoise, , 
which, I trust, I have satisfactorily shown ought not to be attributed to re-, 
ligious " fury." I may remark that, at least in Waterford, there could 
have been no great spoliation, as we find the dean and chapter, in 1577, 
selling two hundred pounds worth of plate, the property of the cathedral — 
no inconsiderable sum in those days. — Ry land's Waterford, p. 135. 


made to archbishop Cranmer to nominate a few individual* 
whom he might conceive to be not only qualified to be bishops* 
but willing to undertake the offiee in this remote and turbu- 
lent country. Having stated in his reply, that he <« knew 
very few that would gladly be persuaded to remove to Ireland,** 
he, at the same time, named four, whom he " thought for 
conscience sake would not refuse to bestow the talent com- 
mitted unto them wheresoever it shall please the king's ma- 
jesty to appoint them." One of these, W. Turner of Can- 
terbury, owing to the character given him by Cranmer, 110 * 
was selected by Edward in the month of August to be arch" 
bishop of Armagh. When he was apprised of the dignity 
intended for him, he was most unwilling to accept it. The* 
following account of Cranmers endeavours to persuade him 
to go to Ireland, has been happily preserved, and is strikingly 
illustrative, not only of the aversion which faithful men felt 
to enter, even as bisheps r on the ministry in this country, but 
also of the sound views which were entertained of what was 
requisite for constituting a successful preacher in Ireland. 
M Now at last, M writes Cranmer to Sir William Cecil* 
" against his will, Turner is come up unto the court. He 
preached twice in the camp that was by Canterbury, for 
whieh the rebels would have hanged him ; and he seemed 
then more glad to go to hanging than he doth now to go to 
Armachane, he alleged so many excuses. But the chief is, 
that he shall preach to the walls and stalls, for the people 
(he says) understand no English. I bear him in hand, yes ; 
and yet I doubt whether they speak English in the diocese 
of Armachane. But if they do not, then I say, that if he 
will take the pains to learn the Irish tongue, which with dili- 

W The following is Cranmer's character of Twner ;— " Who besides that 
he is merry and witty withal, nihil appetit, nihil ardet, nihil somniat, nisi 
Jesum Christum ; and in the lively preaching of him and his word, he de- 
clareth such diligence, fruitfulness and wisdom, as for the same deservetb 
much coounendatioiL*--StryDe'8 Memorials of Cranmer, Oxf, 1812, voLir 


genee he may do in a year or two, then both his person and 
doctrine shall be more acceptable not only unto his diocese, 
but thorowe all Ireland." ^ The archbishop's efforts, how* 
ever, proved unavailing, and Turner altogether refused to re* 
move to Ireland. At length, in the end of the year, two of 
the vacant sees were accepted by men eminently qualified for 
the office, both of whom were at that period chaplains to the 
bishop of Winchester, and well known to each other. On 
the 27th of October, John Bale was nominated to the see of 
Ossory, and on the 4th of November, Hugh Goodacre to that 
of Armagh ; and letters of the same dates were despatched 
from court to the lord deputy and council of Ireland in com- 
mendation of these bishops elect.* 7 ** 

Of Goodacre, little could be known, as he died within three 
months after his appointment to die primacy ; " having been 
poisoned at Dublin," according to Bale, " by procurement of 
certain priests of his diocese, for preaching God's verity and 
rebuking their common vices." J 73 * Of Bale, we have many 
authentic memorials which show him to have possessed not 
only the fidelity, learning and piety of a reformer, but also 
the zeal, energy and courage essential to the character of a 
champion of the truth. Deeply convinced of the ruinous 
errors of popery, he attacked and exposed them without xe~ 
serve. For this honest boldness he had been twice imprison- 
ed in England by the ruling clergy. Owing to the favour of 
Iprd Cromwell, already mentioned, he obtained his liberty ; 
and, after the melancholy death of bis patron, he retired to 
the continent, where he spent eight years in habits of intimacy 
*nd friendship with Luther, Calvin, and other celebrated con- 

<7i) Strype's Cranmer, i. p. 907- 

<7») Ibid. p. 393. 

(73) Bale's Vocacyon, ut supra, p. 343, who styles him u that godly 
preacher, and virtuous learned man." In his Scrip. Illus. Mag. Britt. 
Basil. 1567. Pars sec p. 231, Bale thus describes him ;— M Virum doc- 
trine sinceritate ac vitse integritate conspicuum D. Hugonem Goodacrum, 
beats memoriae, concionatprem in Hybernia vigilantissiraum> ac theologies 
ekxjueqtia noq immerito commendatum." 


tinental reformers. At the accession of Edward VI. he re- 
turned to England, and in August, 1552, was offered the 
see of Ossory. He could not, however, for some time, be 
prevailed on to accept it, alleging his age, being then nearly 
sixty, his poverty, and his ill health, as sufficient to excuse 
him from undertaking so arduous a charge. At the personal 
solicitation of the sovereign himself, Bale at length consented; 
and in conjunction with his friend and colleague Goodacre, 
was solemnly set apart to his office on tne 2d of February, 
1553. His determination to refuse all conformity to the 
ceremonies of the ancient superstition was manifested at his 
consecration, in an incident, which at the same time still 
farther displays the timid and temporising policy that con- 
tinued to actuate the other dignitaries of the church. Lock- 
wood, the dean of the cathedral, insisted on using the popish 
form of consecration, and refused to adopt the form set forth 
in the book of common prayer, though this book had, two 
years before, been regularly received by the reformed clergy. 
He alleged that the use of the new form would excite a tumult, 
and that not having been yet ratified by parliament, it could 
not be deemed binding. In this opinion, strange to tell, he 
was joined by archbishop Brown, Lancaster of Kildare, and 
the -other assembled prelates. Goodacre, the primate elect, 
differed from these brethren, though for the sake of peace he 
was willing, on this occasion, to acquiesce in the use of the 
Romish ritual. But Bale opposed it in the most decided 
manner. He would not, in any degree, consent to adopt the 
ritual of so corrupted a church. His firmness prevailed. 
The reformed ritual was adopted. No tumult ensued. The 
timid supporters of the Reformation were abashed and con- 
founded. They were taught the weakness of those apprehen- 
sions by which they had been kept in awe of the multitude, 
and restrained from exposing, with sufficient energy, the 
monstrous errors of popery. And an example was set them 
of uncompromising fidelity to the truth, which, had it been 
generally followed, would have soon changed the religious 


aspect of Ireland, and laid the foundation for the ultimate 
triumph of the reformed faith. The people would have seen 
tad appreciated the whole extent of the difference that ex* 
iated between the Romish and Protestant churches, which 
was studiously concealed from their eyes by the temporising 
conduet of their teachers ; and though their prejudices might 
have been shocked, and the passions of a few roused, yet, from 
the manifest importance of the change proposed to them, a 
more serious inquiry into the grounds of their faith would 
have been the result — which is all that Truth requires to 
ensure her ultimate triumph. It was on this principle that 
Luther, Calvin, Knox, and the more successful of the early 
reformers acted — a principle from which Bale never deviated 
through the whole course of his ministry. 

Immediately after his consecration, he repaired to his dio- 
cese, where he was a constant and faithful preacher. He has 
left on record the following interesting notices of his minis- 
terial labours at this period. " My first proceedings were 
these ; — I earnestly exhorted the people to repentance for sin, 
and required them to give credit to the gospel of salvation : 
To acknowledge and believe that there was but one God ; 
and him alone, without any other, sincerely to worship : To 
confess one Christ for an only Saviour and Redeemer, and to 
trust in none other man's prayers, merits, nor yet deservings, 
but in his alone, for salvation. I treated at large both of the 
heavenly and political state of the Christian church ; and 
helpers I found none among my prebendaries and clergy, but 
adversaries a great number. I preached the gospel of the 
knowledge and right invocation of God. But when I once 
sought to destroy the idolatries and dissolve the hypocrites' 
yokes, then followed angers, slanders, conspiracies, and in the 
end, the slaughter of men."*'' 1 ' While he thus faithfully 
proclaimed the truth, he also laboured, with the utmost dili- 
gence, to correct the vices of his clergy, whom he found 

<' 4 > Vocacyon, ut supra, p. 342. 


plunged in the grossest licontipusness. He at pnpe abolished 
the idplatrous service of the mass, and sought to lead the peo- 
ple to the knowledge; and love of true religion. Foe this 
purpose he considered no lawful means improper to be em* 
ployed. The present age may smile to hear of a bishop writ- 
ing metrical interludes on religious subjects, and causing 
them to be acted in public places for the edification of the 
public. But though manifestly unsuitable to the. taste *nd 
circumstances of the present generation, it proved at that pe- 
riod a most successful means of exposing error, and conveying 
truth in a lively and affecting manner. (76) In this useful 
course, however, he was permitted to continue but a very few 
months. By the premature death of Edward VI., in the 
month of June, and the subsequent accession of queen Mary, 
the Romish party in Ireland assumed new courage, and 
ventured on acts of violence which they would not otherwises 
have attempted. Accordingly, Bale, who had been hitherto 
secure and unmolested, and who, had Edward lived, would 
doubtless have continued so, now became the object of viru- 
lent persecution. In the month of September, five of his ser- 
vants were barbarously murdered beside his residence, which 
he was consequently forced to abandon. Protected by a strong 
escort, he was conveyed in safety to Kilkenny, " the young 
men," as he relates, " singing psalms and other godly songs 
in rejoice of my deliverance, the people in great number 
stood on both sides of the way, both within the gates and 

(75) Bale tells us that on the day on which queen Mary was proclaimed 
at Kilkenny, " the young men in the forenoon played a tragedy of God's 
promises in the old law, at the market-cross ; in the afternoon again they 
played a comedy of Saint John the Baptist's preachings, of Christ's bap- 
tizing, and of his temptation in the wilderness, to the small contentation of 
the priests and other papists there.** Vocacyon, ut supra, p. 345. The 
latter of these is printed in the Harleian Miscellany, (i. 202, et seq.) and is 
thus entitled, " A brefe Comedy or Enterlude of Johan Baptystes preachynge 
in the wyldernease ; openynge the craftye assaultes of hypocrytes, compyled 
anno m-d-xxxvui.** He wrote at least twelve other comedies on Scriptural 
subjects. Biog. Brit. art. Bale. 


Without, with candles lighted in their hands, shouting out 
praises to God for delivering me from the hands of these 
murderers :" a pleasing and satisfactory evidence that though 
persecuted by the more bigoted, he had secured the affec- 
tionate regard of a large portion of his people. Here he 
maintained his ground with firmness for some time longer ; 
till at length finding it impossible to remain, his life being 
daily endangered, he reluctantly withdrew ; and after encoun- 
tering many difficulties, succeeded in reaching the continent 
in safety. <*> 

This violence which Bale encountered after the death of 
the king, is assumed by several Protestant historians as deci- 
sive evidence of the impropriety of his conduct ; and many 
severe reflections are made on his uncompromising opposition 
to the errors and superstitions by which he was encompass- 
ed, and by which, like the apostle, " his spirit was stirred 
in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry ." (77) 

(Tff) Some very narrow escapes occurred in bis flight, which may be seen 
in tbe Biog. Brit art Bale; and in Brooke's Lives of the Puritans, i. 
105-6. On the accession of Elizabeth, he returned to England, but de- 
clined acting as a bishop, and refused to accept his former preferment, his 
principles inclining him rather to join with the Non-conformists. He died 
at Canterbury, of which cathedral be was a prebendary, in November, 1503. 
Bis voluminous and valuable writings are prohibited by the church of Rome* 
and placed in the first class of heretical books. The following epigram, 
by a contemporary, shows the opinion then entertained of the value of his 
labours in tbe cause of truth :— 

Plurima Luthenis patefecit, Platina multa, 

Quaedam Vergerius, cuncta Balssus habet 
A friend has favoured me with tbe following metrical verson of these lines ; 
Most of the errors of the Church of Rome 

Luther exposed-^ Platina many told ; 
To seme, Vergerius held the lamp of truth, 

But Bale, with matchless lore, does all unfold. 
77 Leland sarcastically styles him, " the violent and acrimonious impugner 
of Popery,** and describes him as " insulting the prejudices of his flock 
without reserve or caution.** Yet he confesses he could not discover what 
imprudencies Bale committed, or what " was the intemperate conduct 
which his adversaries retorted with such shocking barbarity.'* Why then, 


fiat these reflections are certainly unmerited. For it ought 
to be remembered, that being the only active and zealous 
prelate in the kingdom, his solitary and successful exertions 
were the more obnoxious to the Popish clergy, and drew down 
upon him their special indignation. At the same time, he 
yeas secretly disliked by many of his reformed brethren, whose 
indolence was exposed, and whose timidity was alarmed, by 
his undaunted fidelity and perseverance. Let it be remarked, 
too, that no violence was offered during six months, when it 
might be expected the irritation of his bigoted opponents 
would have been greatest ; nor was it till the death of Ed- 
ward, and the accession of a Romanist to the throne, that he 
experienced any annoyance. It is truly deplorable to observe 
the severity and injustice with which Protestant writers have 
reflected on the character of the only sincere reformer that the 
church in Ireland enjoyed, at this critical period of her his- 

The accession of Queen Mary proved fatal, for a time, to 
the progress of the Reformation in Ireland. Under her in- 
auspicious sway, the Roman Catholic religion was formally 
restored by Parliament. The supremacy of the Pope was 
re-established. t Dowal was recalled with honour to his see, 
and restored to the envied primacy of all Ireland. The pre- 
lates who favoured the Reformation and had married, were, 
on the latter pretence, ejected from their sees. These were 
Brown of Dublin, (78) Staples of Meath, Casey of Limerick, 
Travers of Leigh 1 in, and Lancaster of Kildare. Eight other 
prelates, who had equally acknowledged the royal supremacy 
and professed the reformed doctrines, quietly acceded to the 
changes now introduced, and became the adherents of the 
church of Rome, which they again abandoned to embrace, 

we may ask, should the historian have reflected so severely on bis conduct ? 
Was it possible, at that period, for uny sincere Protestant prelate to do hit 
duty, and escape the factious opposition of the Popish clergy ? 

78 ** Queen Mary's writ constituting Hugh Cunveu, Archbishop of 
Dublin, in room of George Brown deprived, is dated April 25, 1&k>. 
Ilym. F»d. vol vi. part iv. p. 37." 


under Elizabeth, the Protestant faith.* 79 * — The people re- 
lapsed into their former state of blind subjection to the Papal 
see, from which they had been as yet scarcely severed; and as 
there was none to disturb the government in their measures* 
or provoke the indignation of the clergy, so there was less ap- 
parent persecution in Ireland during this reign than in Eng* 
land. The ruling powers were satisfied that they had re* 
placed the Romish faith in all its former security. A day of 
jubilee was observed throughout the kingdom for its happy 
restoration. m Whatever number of Protestants may have 
remained, were deemed too few and insignificant to ex- 
cite any alarm for its uninterrupted establishment in this fa- 
voured " island of saints. 11 Ireland, therefore, strange as it 
may appear, became an asylum for the persecuted Protestants 
of England, who resorted thither to escape the fury of their 
Romish countrymen. Some of these little colonies brought 
with them their ministers, who privately officiated among 
them, even in the metropolis ; and thus, while Ireland ap- 
peared to be doomed to the most hopeless sterility, the seeds 
of reformation, by the fostering care of Providence, whose 
" ways are not as our ways," were springing up in it more 
extensively than when under the protection of a nominally 
reformed government.* 81 * Preparation was indeed made for? 
introducing into Ireland the persecuting measures which cha* 

7* These were Magennis of Down and Connor, Devereux of Ferns, 
Walsh of Waterford, Magennis of Dromore, Bodekin of Tuam, De Bur- 
go of Elphin, Nugent of Kilmore, and Tirrey of Cork. The two latter 
died in the end of Queen Mary's reign, but the others, under Elizabeth, 
once more reverted to the reformed faith! — a remarkable evidence of the 
little care that had been taken to fill the vacant sees with faithful or con- 
scientious ministers. 

80 Ware's Annals, ad an. 1554. 
- w " 1554. This year several of the Protestants of England fled over 
into Ireland, by reason Queen Mary be^an to prosecute them for their re- 
ligion, viz. — John Harvey, Abel Ellis, John Edmonds, and Henry Haugb, 
aH Cheshire men ; who bringing over their goods and chattels lived in Dub- 
lin, and became citizens thereof; it not being known wherefore they came 


meterised this reign in England. Im die mwsath of October 
1658, Dr. Cole, Romish Dam of St. PanTs, wa dwprtc h gd 
by Mary with a oommwaoo to Lord Deputy Fitxwalter, an* 
tborising him to pro ceed with rigour in the detection and 
punishment of Protestants within his jurisdiction. The 
dean having arrived at Chester, was waited on by the 
major, to whom he showed with exultation his commission, 
and boasted of the severities which it would be the means of 
inflicting on the heretics in Ireland. This intelligence 
alarmed his hostess, who had several Protestant friends con* 
pealed in Dublin. Watching her oppor tun ity, she removed 
the commission out of the box in which it was deposited, and 
substituted in its place a pared of similar sise. Cole, igno* 
rant of this exchange, proceeded to Dublin, and having pre* 
sented himself before the deputy and council, he explained at 
length the pious intention of the queen in support of the 
church, and concluded with handing his box to the secretary 
that the commission might be formally read. But to the dis- 
may of the dean, and the surprise of the council, instead of 
the commission, the box contained only a pack of cards, with 
the knave of clubs faced upwards. The deputy, probably 
not displeased that he was so unexpectedly freed from the in-, 
vidious office of a persecutor, humorously replied, — " Let 
lis have a new commission, and we will shuffle the cards in 
the mean time " Cole returned and succeeded in obtaining 
a new commission, but the death of the queen, in the month 
of November, happily and providentially defeated the de- 
sign. (W) 

hither, until Queen Mary'* death. These families having one 
Jones, a Welshman, a Protectant priest, privately amongst them, who 
wrvice and the Scripture to them upon Sundays and other days secretly ; 
all this not being discovered until Queen Mary's death. "—Ware's An- 

m Hist. Coll. of the church in Ireland, pp. 17, 18. The woman's name 
was Elizabeth Edmonds, sister to John Edmonds, mentioned in the pre- 
filing note — Inland seems to discredit the authenticity of this singula? 
occurrence, but, iti my opinion, without sufficient grounds. 


AJft.1559. CHtfBCH IN IRELAND* 45 

The peaceful and unobstructed accession of Elizabeth td 
die throne was a most auspicious event to the persecuted 
Protestants in England. It was equally so to the interest* 
of the truth in Ireland, though, from the unhappy state of 
die kingdom, it was some time before its beneficial effects were 1 
visible. The flattering prospects presented in the reign of 
Edward had been blighted by the bigotry of Mary. Scarcely 
any traces were discernible, on the face of the church, of the 
previous reformation, which had been too superficial to with- 
stand the storm of Popish violence. The work had therefore 
to be commenced anew ; but the individuals to whom it was 
intrusted profited little by the experience of former years. 
The same fatal error into which former rulers had fallen, of 
forcing external conformity, unsupported by adequate instruc- 
tion, was still persisted in ; though its futility had been ex- 
posed, and its pernicious effects fully developed, to the Eng- 
lish court by some of its most influential advisers. Owing 
to this radical error, less progress was made in reviving and 
extending the Reformation than might have been reasonably 

Though Queen Elisabeth was known to be attached to the 
reformed faith, the news of her accession to the crown was 
received in Dublin without any symptoms of dissatisfaction. 
The event waa celebrated in the usual manner, and for more 
than six months everything continued as in the preceding reign. 
The first indication of the religious sentiments of the court 
was manifested in an order sent in May 1559, to the dean of 
Christ-church, to remove from his cathedral all relics, images, 
and pictures, and to substitute in their place, appropriate pas- 
sages of Scripture. m This order was soon after followed by 
an important gift conferred on the metropolis by an English 
prelate. Dr. Heath, archbishop of York, sent a large Eng- 
lish Bible to each of the two cathedrals of St. Patrick and 

83 Thomas Lockwood was the name of this dignitary, and like his supe- 
riors was a genuine Vicar of Bray* At the consecration of Bishop Bale, 


Christ-chuich, to be fixed in the centre of the choirs, ahd 
mot only to be read in divine service, but to be left op6& fat 
public perusal. The avidity with which the people availed 
themselves of this privilege, plainly indicated that it was the 
first of the kind with which they had been favoured. They 
came in crowds to hear the word of God read, and both be- 
fore and after divine service, they shewed great impatience to 
peruss it for themselves. Once acquainted with its contents, 
their desire for further kuowlcdge rapidly increased. The 
arohbiahop** seasonable gift prepared the way far a subsequent 
demand for Hibles* which must have had an important influx 
enee in promoting the cause of die Reformation. For in the 
ytMur 15titi» John 1>*1<\ a Dublin bookseller, encouraged by 
the growing desire of the people to become better acquainted 
wilh the sacred volumes imported from London a supply of 
small Itihtaftt then first printed ; and so urgent was the de- 
mand* thai in ke& than two years he disposed of no fewer than, 
arww thousand CMpi***** 

S*> aw* as cuvwNB&UKtt* paranitteiL, which was not until 
the tvgmmng \tf the j**r lo*3l\ a parliament was held in 
Duhhttt fo* the puipttc of ^ain t3Ki»£Kris£ the sanctions of 
the U* lW\ th+ Kv*»toh t* the Ptwtw«as:t tihiu With the 
e\e<^tfc*n s*f thv ^twit*** £t\«t* V the sMbies* which, how- 
ew\ *** \^ aUwutt^g ** •* inlaw tibe de^crr » pw e g ne the 

<W v»*fc* *m *tv* W **v«K> vw^k RrfooKk -xua^ As tke woes- 
*y* y* \fc*> W vv^tm^ J**f 5\^tf>v * j*tttt*£ Vr W <«er j^Mntftwtf it; 

j< Out Wkkav W»«v>i ^ t\*M»o»i?> um^* 4S ;£* ^a <cttn» jc dteaKf^ 


parliament in a few weeks, this important change was speedily 
effected. Of nineteen prelates who had conformed to Popery 
under Mary, only two now adhered with steadfastness to their 
profession, thus exhibiting another degrading instance of 
clerical tergiversation. The commons, consisting of repre- 
sentatives from ten counties out of thirty-two. and from about 
twenty towns, principally under the influence of the crown, 
acquiesced more readily, though not without evident reluc- 
tance, in the proposed measures ; so that the whole ecclesias- 
tical fabric was again overthrown as promptly as it had been 
constructed at the accession of Mary. By this parliament, 
»' the ecclesiastical jurisdiction was restored to the crown, and 
.a new oath of supremacy appointed ; the use of the common 
prayer was enforced, and all subjects obliged to attend the 
public service of the church." <85) A most absurd enactment 
was passed, respecting the use of the common prayer-book by 
those who might be ignorant of the English language. It 
was one of the essential principles of the Reformation, that 
divine service should be conducted in the language of the 
worshippers. As English was not a spoken language, except 
in the metropolis and some of the principal towns, one of the 
most obvious measures of the court ought to have been to 
have the liturgy translated into Irish, and ministers speak- 
ing this tongue provided for that vast majority of the popu- 
lation who knew no other language. Accordingly, one of 
.the instructions given to Sir James Croft, in a preceding 
jeign, had been to procure such a translation ; but no efforts 
had been made for that purpose. {m Instead, however, of 
reviving this wise and salutary measure, and giving it the 
sanction of legislative authority, it was inconsistently enacted, 
that where the minister, and, by implication, the people, did 
not understand English, the public service should be per* 

« Lcland iL 2245. 
* W According to Ox, (i. 290) the first instruction giren him wan, — * to 
propagate the worship of God in the English tongue, and the service to be 
translated into Irish to those places which need it." 


fanned, not in the Irish tongue known to both parties, hot 
in the Latin language unknown to either ! The reasons as- 
signed for this singular order was as insufficient, as the mea- 
sure itself was absurd and ridiculous. They were founded 
on the pleas, that the Irish language was difficult to be print- 
ed ; and that, if printed, few even of the native reformed 
clergy could be found competent to read it. (87) And thus 
for the sake of these temporary obstacles, which prudent and 
aealous rulers would soon have found means of removing, the 
dissemination of the truth through the country was effectually 
impeded, and the most ignorant as well as the most numer- 
ous class of the community were cut off from the benefits a? 
divine worship, and attached more strongly to their ancient 

The deputy, the Earl of Sussex, perceived the visible re- 
luctance with which these ecclesiastical changes were received. 
After hastily dissolving the parliament, in the beginning of 
February he retired to England to consult Elizabeth and her 
council on the subsequent measures which he should adopt 
for rendering effectual the recent acts of the legislature. He 
returned in the following month, and, by the Queen's direc- 
tions, summoned a general meeting of the clergy of the king- 
dom, to tender to them the new oath of supremacy, and excite 
them to introduce the reformation into their respective dioceses; 
As already stated, only two bishops had refused to conform. 
Walsh of Meath, not only declined taking the oath, but at- 
tacked with violence the book of common-prayer, and per- 
sisting to warn his clergy and people against it, he was de* 
posed from his dignity, and cruelly imprisoned for many 
years. Leverous of Kildare, also declined the oath, and de* 
fended his refusal principally on the ground of the sovereign's 
sex. Being asked, by the lord deputy, the cause of his de* 
dining an oath already taken by many learned and illustri- 
ous men, he replied, " that all ecclesiastical jurisdiction was 

*7 2 EHariwth, chap. 2, sect. 15. 


'derived from Christ — that since he thought not fit to confer 
such authority on the blessed Virgin his mother, it could not 
be believed that he would delegate supremacy to any other 
person of that sex — that St. Paul had forbidden any woman 
to speak in the church, much less to preside and rule there — 
and, that the same doctrine was maintained by Chrysostom 
and Tertullian," whose sentiments he quoted. (88) To these 
reasons no answer was returned but one — an argument, with 
the force of which, in Queen Mary's days, he had himself 
been familiar— <that, if he refused to comply, he must be de- 
prived of his office. This sacrifice he willingly made. He was 
•deposed from the prelacy, and for many years supported him- 
self by filling the humble office of a schoolmaster. m 

The example set by these two prelates was followed by 
•many of the inferior clergy ; who resigned their dignities, 
and either abandoned the kingdom or retired to the more 
oremote districts, where they remained without molestation. 
The government was extremely remiss in filling the vacancies 
thus created. The see of Meath, a most extensive diocese in 
the immediate vicinity of Dublin, continued vacant for two 
years. Clogher enjoyed a bishop for only one year during a 
period of above half a century — from the year 1557 t0 1610 i 
Even the primacy was vacant for four years, while the re- 
moter dioceses still remained at the uncontrolled disposal of 
the Pope. When the more lucrative and influential stations 
in the church were thus permitted to remain unoccupied, it 
will not appear surprising that the inferior benefices should 
share a similar fate. So protracted indeed was the interrup- 
tion of divine service in many places, that even the churches 
fell into decay, and when incumbents at length took possession 
of them, they were generally so ruinous as to be unfit for 
use.* 90 * 

88 Extracted from a rare work, printed at Cologne in 1649, entitled — 
" De proceatu martyriali," &c 

» Mason's Cathedral of St. Patrick, pp. 163-4. 

90 Leland ii, 226. This desolation of the churches was completed by 
the continual wars in which the country was involved, throughout -the 
VOL. I. S 


This shameful neglect was scarcely less injurious to the 
progress of the Reformation, than were the harsh measures 
employed to press external conformity on the prejudiced 
and uninstructed people. The penalties for neglecting to fre- 
quent the church were, for a time at least, Btrietly inflicted. ^ 
But many attended merely to escape the fine, and consequent- 
ly in a state of mind that unfitted diem for receiving instruc- 
tion. Others endeavoured to 'serve two masters,' by at- 
tending the mass in the morning, and the authorised agrvioe 
afterwards ; while the greater number refused altogether fe> 
attend. To remedy these defects, the churchwardens were 
directed to call over the list of householders in every parish, 
and exact the fines from the absent. And where these 
measures were found ineffectual, soldiers were not unfrequently 
quartered on a refractory parish, till by their violence and ra- 
pacity, the people were harassed into a reluctant and inefieo- 
tual conformity.* 98 * Proclamations were issued against Popish 
priests and friars, forbidding them to meet in Dublin ox re- 
side within the walls. If they were apprehended they won* 
unceremoniously cast into prison, and treated with the com- 
bined rigour due to both recusants and rebels. w These seve- 
rities, especially at the commencement of a reign, served only to 
alienate the people more and more from the reformed faith ; 
and their animosity being studiously inflamed by the priests, 
while no means were taken, either by the Protestant clergy 
or the state, to inform their minds or win their confidence, a 
powerful barrier, rendered every year more formidable, was 
raised against the progress of the Reformation. 

whole of this reign. In the commencement of the following century, the 
state of the parish churches was most deplorable. In 1538, the cathedral 
of Down was burned by the lord deputy Grey ; and in 1566, O'Neill burn- 
ed that of Armagh. See note l 98 -) 

" We find Sir William Drury, when lord deputy, in October 1578, 
binding several citizens of Kilkenny, " by recognisance of forty pounds, to 
come to church to hear divine service every Sunday.'* Cox, L 854. 

» Chronicle of Chichester's government, in Deaid. Cur. Hib. L 253. 

» Ware's Annals, ad an. 1563. 


In truth, strange as it may appear under a government pro- 
verbially vigorous in civil affairs, neither Elizabeth nor her 
ministers, after the first formal change of the national faith, 
ever seriously entered on the consideration of the religious 
state of Ireland. In thirteen letters of instruction to various 
lords deputies during her reign, the subject is passed over in 
almost total silence, and when noticed, it is in a very vague 
manner.**) The most important of the enactments passed in 
parliament respecting religion were, for the most part, suffer- 
ed to slumber on the statute-book, as if they had been intend* 
ed for no other purpose than to give unnecessary irritation to 
the Romanist party. The same silence respecting religion is 
observable in nearly ail the contemporary pamphlets publish* 
ed relative to Ireland ; m while, during the same period, no 
other topic engrossed so much of the literature of both the 
sister kingdoms. This silence may, in part, be accounted 
for by the turbulent state of the country, and by the frequent 
and formidable rebellions, which, at the instigation of the 
Pope, were organised against the authority of Elizabeth. It 
was in Ireland, during this reign, that the head of the Romish 
church, deprived of his influence both in England and Scot- 
land, made his most pertinacious and successful opposition to 
the power of the queen and the progress of the truth. His 
excommunication of Elizabeth, which was despised in Britain, 
had in Ireland a formidable effect in exciting to rebellion a 
bigoted nobility and a superstitious people. By his influence, 
too, the king of Spain, on several occasions, sent forces to co- 
operate with those Irish chiefs who were ambitious of dis- 
tinguishing themselves in support of the Holy See. Thus 
the discord which had ever subsisted between the English and 
the natives, and which had been fomented by the selfish po- 
licy of the British court, and by the insolent rapacity and in- 

** These letters may be seen in the first volume of Desid. Cur. Hib. 

** These were indeed comparatively few ; but it u extremely mortifying 
to the inquirer to find them all so destitute of facts or references relative 
so the state and progress of religion here during this reign. 


justice of its adherents, was still further aggravated by reli- 
gious rancour ; so that the government was almost exclusively 
occupied in taking measures for its own defence, and had 
scarcely leisure to attend either to the civil improvement or 
the religious reformation of die kingdom. These circum- 
stances prepare us to expect, during the remainder of this 
reign, no very zealous or successful exertions in support of 
the truth. Where it did spring up, it was not without coun- 
tenance and protection. But its progress was confined solely 
to the cities and principal towns, many of which now made 
profession of the reformed faith ; <*> while the rural population 
of the kingdom remained unnoticed and unenlightened, in a 
state of wretched ignorance and delusion. 

In the year 1569, a second parliament was convened under 
the auspices of Sir Henry Sydney, an able and enlightened 
statesman. By this assembly two acts were passed, which, 
had they been brought into operation, might have been of 
considerable benefit. But they were soon forgotten amidst 
the tumults of civil war. By one of these, all presentations 
to cathedral dignities in the provinces of Munster and Con- 
naught, with the exception of four dioceses, were, for ten 
years, put into the hands of the chief governor of the king- 
dom, who was strictly enjoined to present none but duly qua- 
lified persons, "who can speak English and will reside." 
The reason alleged for transferring this extraordinary power 
to the lord deputy is assigned in the preamble of the bill, 
the following summary of which will serve to illustrate the 
state of religion in those extensive provinces : " Whereas per- 
sons have been admitted to ecclesiastical dignities which had 

96 There is great difficulty in ascertaining the time when the reformed 
religion was introduced into the cities and towns of Ireland. Galwaj is 
said to have received it in the beginning of Edward VL's reign, though the 
celebration of mass in public was only first prohibited in 1568. Hardi- 
man, 85, 240-1. • It appears from the charter of Queen Elisabeth, granted 
to the town of Carrickfergus in the year 1569, that the inhabitants had, 
.several years before, embraced the reformed faith. M ( Skimin'8 Carrick- 
fergus, p. 180; — one of the very few valuable works illustiatwe of the local 
antiquities of Ireland. 


neither legitimacy, learning, English habit or English lan- 
guage, but were the issue of unchaste abbots, priors, deans, 
chanters, and such like, getting into the same dignities by 
force, simony, or other undue means : therefore the chief 
governor of Ireland shall, for ten years to come, have the sole 
nomination of all deans, archdeacons, chantors, chancellors, 
and treasurers of cathedral churches in Munster and Con- 
naught, those of Waterfowl, Cork, Limerick, and Cashel ex- 
cepted."* 7 * By a second act, schools were ordered to be erect- 
ed in the principal town of every diocese, under the direction 
of English schoolmasters, of whose salary one-third was to be 
paid by the bishop and the remainder by his clergy. Another 
act " for the reparation of parochial churches, 11 had been trans- 
mitted by the council in England for the approbation of the 
parliament here. But it never passed into a law, having 
been either opposed by the popish party, or considered as too 
expensive, and therefore impracticable. w 

A much more promising measure was shortly after attempt- 
ed by private zeal and enterprise. A printing press, together 
with a set of Irish types, the first that had been cast, were 
brought into Ireland by two dignitaries of St. Patrick's cathe- 
dral, Dublin, who also procured an order for printing the 

97 Cox, i. 831. See note <*7*> 

* Leland, ii. 245. The following preamble to a proclamation, iatued 
by Sir John Perrot, lord deputy, above fifteen yean after the passing of 
these acts, furnishes another proof of the wretched state of the parish 
churches, and at the same time shows that the above act, on the subject of 
schools, had not been carried into effect " 4 March, 1584. Whereas it 
appeareth unto us, that churches and chaunceli, for the most part, within 
this realm, are not only decayed, ruinated and broken down, to the great 
hindrance of God's divine service, whereby the people are for the most 
part, and in most places, left without instruction to know their duty to 
God and the prince ; but also we find that free-schools, which are to be 
maintained and kept for the education and bringing up of youth in good 
literature, are now, for the most part, not kept or maintained, &&, See," 
therefore commissioners were apppointed to " make inquiry into the same. 
Here the matter ended, according to the established custom of Irish re- 
forms, and nothing farther was done. Hardiman's Bard. Rem. ii. 400-10. 


liturgy in that character, and for setting apart in every prin- 
cipal town, a church in which divine service might be eon- 
ducted, and a sermon preached in the Irish tongue. m It it 
doubtful whether any part of this most judicious plan was* at 
this period, carried into execution. There was, indeed, some 
preaching in the Irish tongue,< 1M> but the book of co mm on- 
prayer was not published in that language till the reign of 
James I. Various books, however, were successively printed 
in Irish and partially circulated. A translation of the New 
Testament was in considerable progress, when it was unhap- 
pily interrupted by the murder of the translator, the bishop 
of Ossory, in the year 1585. (101) It was not completed until 
twenty years afterwards. This important though nnsuceeBs* 
ful attempt, it is in the highest degree pleasing to contem- 
plate, as it not only afforded a promise of better things to 
come, but was a gratifying proof that although the civil autho- 
rities were inattentive and negligent, there were individuals 
who deeply felt for the ignorance and error by which they 
were surrounded, and were anxious for the removal of these 
evils by the legitimate means of reasoning and instruction. 

Such zealous and benevolent individuals, however, whether 
among the clergy or laity, were extremely few. The greatest 

& Ware's Annals, ad an. 1571: These dignitaries were Nic Walsh, 
chancellor, who was afterwards bishop of Ossory, and John Rerney, trea- 
surer. See note f 43 -) 

ioo This is evident from the statement of Ware, who says that these ser- 
mons in Irish " were instrumental in converting many of the ignorant sort 
in those days.** Annals. 

ioi Nic. Walsh, mentioned in note «*), was surprised and murdered in his 
own house, on the 14th of Dec, 1565, by a man whom he had cited before 
his court for adultery. His translation of the New Testament was com- 
pleted by Won. Daniel, archbishop of Tuam, out of the original Greek. 
Ware's Bishops, p. 616. It was printed in 1602; at least this is the date 
upon the title-page. But as the work is dedicated to James I. after his 
accession to the English throne, it was probably only put to press in that 
year. A copy is in Trinity College library, Dublin. Archbishop Daniel 
also translated the book of common-prayer into Irish, which was printed in 
1666, and dedicated ta Sir Arthur Chichester, then lord deputy. 


disadvantage under which the cause of truth now laboured, was 
the want of learned and pious ministers. This sad deficiency 
has been already alluded to, as characterising the earlier pe- 
riods of the Reformation. It was, no doubt, impossible that 
it should at once be supplied, even by the most diligent ex- 
ertions to procure individuals fitted for the work of evangeliz- 
ing the country. But these exertions were not made. The 
evil continued to exist, and even to increase. In the year 
1676* Sir Henry Sydney feeling the want of a well-instructed 
ministry, was induced to write to Elizabeth herself on the sub- 
ject, pointing out the magnitude of die evil, and entreating 
her to adopt the means which, at the same time, he suggested 
for its removal. In this letter he details the wretched situa- 
tion of one diocese in the most populous and civilized part of the 
kingdom, and leaves his royal mistress to conjecture how des- 
titute the remoter districts must be of an adequate ministry. 
The following extracts, from this important document, 
are necessary for enabling the reader to form a correct idea of 
the ecclesiastical state of Ireland at this period. " I would 
not have believed, had I not for a great part viewed the same 
throughout the whole realm, and was advertised of the parti- 
cular estate of each church in the bishoprick of Meath, (being 
the best inhabited country of all this realm) by the honest, zeal- 
ous, and learned bishop of the same, Mr. Hugh Brady, a god- 
ly minister of the Gospel, who went from church to church him- 
self, and found that there are within his diocese 224 parish 
churches, of which number 105 are impropriated to sundry 
possessions now of your Highness, and all leased out for years, 
ot in fee farm, to several fornlers, and great gain reaped out of 
them above the rent which your Majesty receiveth, no parson 
or vicar resident upon any of them, and a very simple or sorry 
tlirate for the most pan appointed to serve them: among 
which number of curates, only eighteen were found able to 
speak English, the rest are Irish priests, or rather Irish rogues, 
having very little Latin and less learning and civility : all 
these live on the bare alterages (as they, term them) which, 


God knoweth, are very small, and were wont to live upon die 
gain of masses, dirges, shriving and such like trumpery, 
goodly abolished by your Majesty, no one house standing for 
any of them to dwell in. In many places the very walk of 
the churches down, very few chancels covered, windows or 
doors ruined or spoiled. There are fifty-two parish churches 
more, residue of the first number of 224, which pertain to 
divers particular lords; and these, though in better estate 
than the rest commonly aie, yet far from well. If this be 
the estate of the church in the best peopled diocese and beat 
governed country of this your realm, (as in truth it is) easy 
it is for your Majesty to conjecture in what case the rest is» 
where little or no reformation, either of religion or manners, 
hath yet been planted and continued among them. ■ 

Your Majesty may believe it, that upon the face of the earth, 
where Christ is professed, there is not a church in so miser*, 
able a case : the misery of which consisteth in these three 
particulars, the ruin of the very temples themselves, the want 
of good ministers to serve in them when they shall be re-edi- 
fied, and competent livings for the ministers when well 
chosen." Sir Henry then proceeds to suggest the most prac- 
ticable methods for supplying these deplorable deficiencies. 
He recommends that the churches be forthwith repaired ; 
that search be made in the English Universities for reformed 
ministers, especially for such as can speak Irish ; that if these 
cannot be found there, application be made to the Regent of 
Scotland, in whose dominions he states there were many per- 
sons thus qualified ; and that some of the grave and well- 
beneficed English clergy be sent hither, " to undertake this 
apostleship, and that upon their own charges. They be rich 
enough," he adds, " and if either they be thankful to your 
Majesty for your immense bounty done to them, or zealous to 
increase the Christian flock, they will not refuse the honour- 
able and religious travel." (108) These recommendations, how* 

1( B Sydney Papers, i. 1 12, et seq. 


ever, though coming from so influential a quarter, and urged 
with so much earnestness, do not appear to have met with the 
least attention. There is no notice taken of them in the in- 
atructions given to subsequent deputies ; and in the Parlia- 
ment held a few years afterwards, at which were present 
four archbishops and twenty bishops, not a single enact- 
ment was passed bearing on the subject of religion ! Such 
was the fate of all the good plans so often projected for ad- 
vancing the Reformation in Ireland ! They were neglected 
and forgotten. How could the Gospel be expected to prevail 
in the face of interest, prejudice, and passion, without the 
agency of ministers and missionaries to teach its doctrines, il- 
lustrate its excellence, and defend its truth against sophistry 
and misrepresentation P 

But while the measures recommended by Sir Henry 
- Sydney for obtaining a supply of faithful pastors were thus 
neglected, one obvious means for attaining this object, though 
unaccountably overlooked in his letter to the queen, was soon 
after adopted. This was the establishment of a University in 
Dublin. Such a measure had indeed been projected by 
Sydney in the year 1569, but like many similar plans, it had 
'foiled through the neglect or indifference of the English mi- 
nistry. It was now, in the year 1590, revived. By the 
exertions of the archbishop of Dublin and the lord deputy 
Fitzwilliam, this important establishment was completed, and 
students were, for the first time, admitted on the ninth of 
January 1593. (103) One chief object of its erection was to af- 
ford facilities for the education of candidates for the national 
church. For this purpose the study of the Irish language 
was very judiciously encouraged, and endowments called 
" natives' places," which still exist, were set apart for the 
support of those who applied themselves to this pursuit. The 
college was founded on more liberal principles than those on 
which it has been subsequently conducted. The distinction 

los Lekml, ». 324—6. 


between conformists and non-conformists, which had already 
beeft carried to so great an extent in England, was at this 
period happily unknown in Ireland. Conformity to thfc 
many rites and ceremonies which originated in human autbo* 
rity alone, was not as yet pressed upon the Irish Prntcaiant 
clergy. The rulers of the church willingly receired all At 
reformed ministers offering themselves, who were sound hi 
the faith, and possessed the requisite seal and learning. Nor 
was it until the inauspicious reign of Charles I. that the 
Bsheme Was formed for bringing all the members of the chunk 
to an absolute and entire conformity. Nothing, indeed, saro 
such a charitable comprehension as existed at this period, 
would hare ever brought the Protestant church to any degree 
of stability in Ireland. 

This liberal spirit was displayed in the early history of the 
University of Dublin. Its first elected fellows were two Pres- 
byterians from Scotland, who had settled in the metropolis 
about five years before. (104) They were professedly engaged 
in teaching school ; but, under this pretext, they were political 
agents of James I., employed by him in conducting a oonfi~ 
dential correspondence with certain of the English nobility, 
and in forming a party in Ireland attached to his interest, in 
case of any competitor starting for the crown of England on 
the demise of Elizabeth. (1M> Their names were Fullerton 

104 They settled in Dublin in 1587. Lodge, iii. 1. It is singular, that 
in this same year, it was ordered by the state, " that no grammar but Lilly's 
should be taught in Ireland." The reason assigned for this minute act of 
legislation was, the variety of grammars previously used in schools, by 
which the progress of youth, moving from one school to another, was greatly 
impeded. Ware's Annals, ad an. 1587. 

io« Cox, L 397. Birch, in his " life of Prince Henry," p. 178> states 
that they were first brought into notice by conveying the letters of some of 
the English lords " who worshipped the rising sun," to and from King 
James in Scotland ; u that way being chosen as more safe than the dtfect 
northern road," in order to escape the vigilance of Elisabeth. Several 
other learned Scotchmen were also employed by James as political agents 
in Ireland at this period, Dr. Robert Maxwell, afterwards Dean of Ar- 
magh, was one of these. Lodge, iii. 900. 


a.Tj. 1594. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 59 

and Hamilton. The former was knighted and made a mem- 
ber of the royal household, on the king's removal to London. 
The latter had been master, and, in college, was tutor to th* 
celebrated Ussher. He was afterwards ennobled by the title 
•f Lord Claneboy, and for a time proved, as will be seen, a 
semlous patron of the Presbyterian interest in Ulster, where 
the king had conferred on him considerable estates. (106) The 
first two regular and official provosts of the college were also 
Non-conformists. The former of these was Walter Travers, 
one of the most celebrated of the English puritans. Though 
silenced fin* his non-conformity by Whitgift, archbishop of 
Canterbury, he was invited over to Ireland by Loftus, arch* 
bishop of Dublin, who had been bis fellow-student at Trinity 
College, Cambridge, and who now vacated bis honorary pro* 
vostship, that he might provide for his persecuted friend. 
Travers accepted of the office in 1594, and presided over the 
eollege for several years. (107) He was much respected by 
Ussher, who under his guidance and the tuition of Hamilton, 
not only laid the foundation of his immense learning, but 
also imbibed those liberal sentiments towards Presbyterians 
by which he was distinguished. The successor of Titters 

"6 See M'Crie'g life of Melville (ii. 405-8) for several interesting par- 
ticnUrs relative to these Scotchmen. According to the Montgomery ma- 
nuscripts, (Belfast, 1880, p. 90,) Sir James Fullerton was knighted and 
in favour at the English court so early as 1604-5. I find that the priory of 
HoUn-patrick in the county of Dublin, and the monastery of friars of the 
blessed Virgin Mary at Ramullan, in the county of Donegal!, were granted 
by James I. to Sir James Fullerton,— another evidence of his influence at 
court. The former he disposed of to the Earl of Tbomond, and the latter 
to Sir Ralph Bingley. Ware, H. 262, 28a 

M7 In 1596, the civil wars forced Travers to leave the college and the 
kingdom, when he returned to England, and died there in poverty and ob- 
scurity some time after the year 1624. Archbishop Ussher continued to 
respect him till his death. The pious prelate frequently visited him in 
England, when both old and poor, and offered him presents of money, but 
the good old man thankfully declined to accept them. Fuller's Church Hist 
b. ix. p. 215-6. Brookes Puritans, ii 314-30. Those who wish to 
know the early part of Mr. Travers's history and his troubles in England, 
may consult the first volume of NeaTs " History of the Puritans.** 


was Henry Alvey, B. D., an equally zealous puritan. He 
had been fellow of St. John's college, Cambridge ; and, like 
his predecessor in the provostship, had been so persecuted by 
Whitgift for his non-conformity, that he resigned his fellow- 
ship and removed to Ireland, where so much greater freedom 
was enjoyed. He came to the college in February 1601 , and 
in October following entered on the office of Provost, which he 
continued to fill until the year 1609, when he was elected 
the first vice-chancellor of the university. (108) 

Some time necessarily elapsed before the beneficial effects 
resulting from the erection of the college were discernible in 
the church. The melancholy description, therefore, which 
Spenser gives of the Irish clergy and the religious state of 
the kingdom in the year 1596, need not excite surprise. In 
some respects it is even more gloomy than that given by Sir 
Henry Sydney twenty years before. A few extracts will suf- 
fice to show how much yet remained to be done in the work 
of instructing the people, and of purifying and reforming the 
clergy themselves. Of the people he states, " not one 
amongst an hundred knoweth any ground of religion, or any 
article of his faith ; but can perhaps say his pater-noster or his 
ave-maria without any knowledge or understanding what one 
wor4 thereof meaneth." (100) Among the clergy, he adds, 
" ye may find gross simony, greedy covetousness, fleshly 
incontinence, careless sloth, and generally all disordered life 
in the common clergymen; — they neither read scriptures, 

i<* Brooke's Puritans, ii. 85. Dub. Univ. Calendar, for 1833. 

i» Spenser's State of Ireland. Dub. 1703. p. 129. Though written 
in 1596, this treatise was not printed until the year 1633.— The reader 
will probably be surprised to find Spenser m the above passage describe 
the professed Protestants as repeating the ave-maria, or the Romish prayer 
to the Virgin Mary, as a stated part of their daily worship. Yet such was 
the case even in England above half a century after this period. For 
Baxter, speaking of the state of religion in Worcestershire about the year 
1640, says, that some of the people " on going to bed would say over the 
creed, or the Lord's prayer, and some of them the * Hail Mary,* or ave- 
maria." Life by Silvester. 


nor preach to the people, nor administer the communion. 
But baptism they do, for they christen yet after the Popish 
fashion." < 110) Of the bishops he says, " in the remoter dio- 
ceses they do not at all bestow the benefices, which are in 
their own donation, upon any, but keep them in their own 
hands, and set their own servants and horseboys to take up 
their tythes and fruits." <m> In a strain of eloquence charac- 
teristic of the poet, he thus contrasts the zeal of the Romish, 
with the apathy of the Reformed clergy : — " It is a great 
wonder to see the odds which is between the zeal of Popish 
priests and the ministers of the Gospel ; for they spare not to 
come out of Spain, from Rome, and from Rheims, by long 
toil and danger travelling hither, where they know peril of 
death awaiteth them, and no reward or riches is to be found, 
only to draw the people to the church of Rome : whereas 
some of our idle ministers having a way for credit and esteem 
thereby opened unto them, without pains and without peril, 
will neither for the same, nor any love of God, nor zeal of 
religion, nor for all the good they may do by winning souls 
to God, be drawn forth from their warm nests to look out into 
God's harvest which is even ready for the sickle, and all the 
fields yellow long ago." (IM) 

Such was the wretched state of the Irish church in the 
latter years of Elizabeth, and such it continued till her death, 
though her council were fully apprized of the method by 
which its condition might have been ameliorated. (113) But 

H* Spenser, p. 131. m Ibid. p. 182. "* Ibid. p. 245. 

us In the year 1601, the celebrated Lord Bacon wrote in the following 
terms to Mr. Secretary Cecil, at that time the most influential minister in 
the court of Elisabeth. After epeaking of the civil reformation of the 
kingdom, he adds : " But there should go hand in hand with this, some 
* course of advancing religion indeed, where the people is capable thereof; 
as the sending over some good preachers, especially of that sort which are 
vehement and zealous preachers, and not scholastic ; to be resident in prin- 
cipal towns : endowing them with some stipend out of her Majesty's reve- 
nues, as her Majesty hath most religiously and graciously done in Lanca- 
shire ; and the recontinuing and replenishing the college begun in 


the formidable rebellions which, during this period, agitated 
the kingdom and desolated its fairest provinces, o cc upied ex- 
clusively the attention of government. The miserable popu- 
lation were sadly diminished by the combined ravages of war, 
famine, and pestilence ; and, except in the cities and princi- 
pal towns, they were living ignorant of the common arts of 
life, and devoid of order or civilization. After great exertions 
and incredible expense, peace was at length restored. For the 
first time, during four centuries, the opponents of the English 
power were completely subdued, and the authority of the laws 
was extended throughout the entire island. Under these cir- 
cumstances, highly auspicious so far as the civil administration 
of the kingdom was concerned, Queen Elisabeth'* reign termi- 
nated by her death in the month of March, 1608. A noUer 
work, however, remained to be accomplished by her successor, 
for which her military triumphs had paved the way,— the work 
of promoting the civilisation of the inhabitants, infusing into 
them a love of peace and social order, and circulating among 
them the blessings of education and of true religion. 

During the long period of seventy years which has now 
been reviewed, how slow and partial was the progress of the 
Reformation in Ireland ! When it is remembered that, dur- 
ing the same period, the reformed faith had taken a deep and 
firm root in both the sister-kingdoms, and had therein effec- 
tually supplanted the ancient superstition, an important in- 
quiry is suggested— what are the causes that retarded its 
growth in Ireland ? The preceding narrative may have ena- 
bled the reader to detect several of these causes. The im- 
portance of the subject, however, will justify a more detailed 

the placing of good men to be bishops in the sees there, and the taking care 
of the versions of Bibles, and catechJama, and other books of instruction 
into the Irish language ; and the like religious courses, both for the honour 
of God, and for the avoiding of scandal and unsatisraction here, by the 
show of toleration of religion in some parts there. " Works, fol. 1740; 
it. 552. 

AJ>. 15-1600. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 6$ 

The alow and limited progress of the Reformation in In- 
land may be traced principally to two causes — the c o ndi t ion 
of the kingdom, which was peculiarly unfavourable to the 
spread of the truth ; and the inadequacy of the measures en* 
ployed for its propagation. 

A country such as Ireland was at the commencement of 
the sixteenth century— nominally subject to England, but 
really governed by a number of petty despots inflamed with 
a deadly hatred against the British, and involved in perpetual 
hostilities among themselves ; its native inhabitants treated 
with cruelty and oppression, as a proscribed and inferior raee, 
without education, commerce, enterprise, or even ordinary 
civilization—presented a most unpromising field for the pro* 
pagation of the reformed faith. Though introduced by the 
authority and supported by the power of the state, the Re- 
formation derived no assistance from this circumstance. For 
the English Government, long prior to this period, had not 
only rendered itself justly odious to the nation, but, by re- 
pressing the authority of the feudal nobility, had deprived 
itself of all power of acting with effect on the minds or habits 
of the people. In other countries the aristocracy, acting if 
concert with the supreme power of the state, as in England* 
and sometimes even in opposition to that power, as in Sept- 
land, effectually secured the admission of the truth to the 
minds of their vassals. But, in Ireland, the unfortunate 
policy of the British court had been to destroy, as far as pos- 
sible, the influence of the aristocracy, whereby the truth was 
deprived of the aid of an important ally which it elsewhere 
enjoyed. Nor was this the only evil attendant on such a 
short-sighted policy. By this means also, the authority and 
influence peculiar to an hereditary nobility were transferred 
to the priesthood. The Romish clergy became the real and 
effective aristocracy of the country, and were thereby invested 
with additional facilities for opposing the progress of the truth, 
and preventing its access to the minds of the enthralled popu- 
lation. Originating in Britain, too, it shared in all the 


hatred with which the Irish contemplated the inhabitants of 
that country, whom they knew only as violent oppressors; 
and the people to whom it was proposed, being rude and un- 
cultivated, were unable, as much from ignorance as from pre* 
judice, to discern or appreciate its excellence. 

In addition to these difficulties peculiar to Ireland, the 
Reformation had moreover to contend with those obstacles 
common to other countries, originating in the exorbitant 
power and selfish policy of the Romish priesthood. These 
obstacles, however, were not more formidable here than in 
the sister kingdoms. The clergy were, indeed, ignorant and 
bigoted in the extreme, their authority over the people was 
supreme and despotic, and their zeal in maintaining the lu- 
crative forms and doctrines of Popery vehement and relent- 
less. < 114) But this was universally the character of the Ro- 
man Catholic hierarchy previous to the Reformation. In 
every country they contemplated the reformed faith with 
aversion, and resisted its progress with all their influence ; 
yet this interested opposition, though for a time it may 
have retarded the advancement of the truth, never ultimately 
prevailed against it where it was disseminated with zeal, fide- 
lity, and perseverance. Unfortunately, however, it was not 

114 I find a bishop of Ferns thus describing the opposition given to the 
truth in his diocese in the year 1612. " As for the poorer sort, some of 
them have not only discovered unto me privately their dislike of popery 
and the mass, in regard they understand not what is said or done therein, 
but also groaned under the burden of the many priests in respect of the 
double tythes and offerings, the one paid by them unto us, and the other 
unto them. Being then demanded of me why they did not forsake the 
mass and come to our church, their answer hath been, (which I know to 
be true in some,) that if they should be of our religion, no popish merchaat 
would employ them being sailors, no popish landlord would let them any 
lands being husbandmen, nor set them houses in tenantry being artificers ; 
and therefore they must either starve, or do as they do. As for the gentle- 
men, and those of the richer sort, I have always found them very obstinate* 
which hath proceeded from the priests resorting unto their houses and com- 
pany, and continual hammering of them upon their superstitious anvil" 
Extracted from a curious paper in Reports of Com. of Pub. Rec. in Ire- 
land, vol. i. p. 264* 

AJ>. 15-1660. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 65 

in this manner that the attempt was made to propagate the 
reformed faith in Ireland. It was offered to the people and 
pressed on them in a way which would have defeated any 
cause : and to this mismanagement, still more than to the 
unfavourable circumstances of the kingdom, may be attri- 
buted its slow and partial advancement. Had the clergy 
been even more formidable, the people more enslaved, and 
both more exasperated against the English than they really 
were ; yet Christian prudence could have disarmed their hos- 
tility, while faithful diligence and intrepidity would have 
planted the true standard of the cross among the most remote 
or turbulent septs. 

But there was neither ordinary discretion nor reasonable 
activity employed in conducting this important and critical 
work. The Romish faith was summarily condemned by acts 
of parliament, and profession of the Reformed religion en- 
forced under the heaviest penalties, before any attempts were 
made to convince the people of their former errors, and thus 
prepare them for accompanying the court in the projected 
reformation. That authority, therefore, which might have 
been usefully exercised at a subsequent stage, in protecting 
and encouraging those who had been won over by the force 
of reasoning and of truth, became highly injurious when it 
was violently resorted to at the very commencement, and em- 
ployed as the chief instrument of conversion. 

Another error consisted in employing exclusively, as the 
agents in this work, the natives of a kingdom against which 
the Irish were deeply and justly incensed. By this means 
the reformed religion became unhappily identified with Eng- 
land, and the most violent prejudices were unnecessarily ex- 
cited against it in the minds of the people. Had native 
converts from Popery been advanced to the dignities and 
offices which were conferred exclusively on Englishmen — had 
they been sent forth among their countrymen and their 
friends, to whom they would have had the happiest facilities' 
of access, and with whom they would have enjoyed the auspr- 

VOL. I. F 


cious opportunity of reasoning in a spirit of affection and 
impartiality) a greater measure of success might justly have 
been expected to result. 

But perhaps a still more fatal error was that of attempting 
to propagate religion through the medium of a foreign lan- 
guage. Nothing could be more preposterous or absurd than 
this attempt, which was persisted in by the government 
through the vain desire of banishing the Irish, to make way for 
the adoption of the English tongue. This change, however, 
as might have been anticipated, the natives unanimously and 
successfully opposed. They utterly refused to relinquish 
their national language — endeared to them by so many 
powerful associations ; much less to adopt in its room that of 
their oppressors — the most degrading badge of servitude a 
people could wear. Had there been even any rational pros- 
pect of effecting this favourite object of British policy, its 
accomplishment ought not to have been preferred before that of 
enlightening and converting the nation. But unfortunately 
this preference was given. The native population were not 
to be addressed in their own tongue ; nor were Irish books 
permitted to be printed for their use. Divine service was to 
be performed solely in the English language ; and where the 
bishops could find no readers, but those who spoke the ver- 
nacular language of their parishioners, instead of permitting 
them to conduct the reformed worship in the Irish tongue, it 
was most absurdly provided that they should officiate in Latin. 
How could the Reformation be expected to prosper by such 
measures as these ! Ecclesiastical history furnishes no in- 
stance in which they have been successful ; but, on the con- 
trary, its records clearly evince — what indeed is sufficiently 
obvious in itself — the necessity of employing the native lan- 
guage of every country both orally and in writing, to instruct 
or convert the inhabitants, {U5) 

115 The cue of Wales furnishes a striking corroboration of the truth of 
these observations. Although the inhabitants of the Principality were, 
perhaps, as violently prejudiced against the English government as the 


But besides overlooking these obvious means of promoting 
the Reformation, neither sufficient vigour nor intrepidity was 
displayed in the measures which were actually adopted. The 
agents employed, both civil and ecclesiastical, were too timid 
and pusillanimous to effect any thing like a general or per- 
manent reformation of the national faith. The errors and 
absurdities of Popery were very cautiously exposed, and 
condemned only in the most measured terms. The pre- 
judices of the people were most studiously humoured, and 
the slightest possible alterations in their former ritual were 
permitted to be made. The transfer of supremacy from the 
Pope to the king, and the appropriation of die monastic reve- 
nues to the crown, appeared to be the sole objects of the com- 
missioners intrusted with the nominal charge of reforming 
Ireland : and in effecting these objects, their reasoning was 
founded not on scriptural considerations, but on Popish pre- 
cedents ; and their most convincing arguments were drawn 
from the exercise of the civil power. The prelate, to whom 
was assigned the office of presiding over the national reforma- 
tion, was unequal to its discharge. When we compare arch- 
bishop Brown with those illustrious reformers, who, in Britain 
and on the Continent, had been the instruments, under Pro- 
vidence, of emancipating their respective countries from 
Popish thraldom, we find him palpably deficient in those 
qualifications which had enabled them to triumph so signally 
over power and prejudice, and to establish their country- 
men, so generally as they did, in the profession of the re- 
formed faith. He was far from possessing that promptitude 

Irish were, and spoke also a different language ; yet by the judicious mea- 
sures adopted in reference both to their civil and their religious reforma- 
tion, especially by the circulation of the Scriptures in Welch, the employ- 
ment of native preachers, and the use of their vernacular tongue in public 
worship, they speedily became incorporated with England, and firmly at- 
tached to the Protestant church. Much important information on this, as 
well as on almost every other topic connected with the spiritual ameliora- 
tion of Ireland, may be found in " Sketches of the native Irish," by the 
Rev. C Anderson, Edinburgh. 


and intrepidity which the important station he held so 
nifestly required. He had courage to attempt the removal of 
only the grosser abominations of Popery. The personal dan- 
ger to which he was occasionally exposed, repeatedly cramped 
his exertions and repressed his zeal ; while the fear of offend- 
ing his patron at the English court led him to act with fatal 
caution and indecision. His timidity betrayed him into die 
delusive expectation of subverting the ancient superstition by 
conciliatory measures ; — a procedure which, however promising 
and desirable it may be in theory, has seldom succeeded' in 
practice. (116> Affected philanthropists have reprobated the 
bold and energetic manner in which Knox assailed the errors 
and triumphed over the power of Popery in Scotland, and 
have descanted on the superior success which would have been 
attained by a more gentle and pacific reformer. But the 
result would assuredly have been the same as in Ireland. 
The moral disease may, perhaps, be mitigated by soothing 
treatment ; but it is too virulent and inveterate to be subdued 
by any but the most active and powerful applications. (117 ' 

116 From an attentive consideration of the letters and proceeding* of 
Brown, I had been reluctantly led, in opposition to all preceding writers, 
to adopt the views of his character stated in the text. I have since met 
with Bale's account of him in his * Vocacyon,* and find that these views 
are too amply corroborated. In fact, Bale, from personal knowledge, 
speaks of him as worldly, selfish, and " gluttonous ;" and further states, 
that at the trying period of the accession of Mary, he was willing enough 
to relapse into popery, " becoming then, of a dissembling proselyte, a most 
pernicious papist.*' His marriage, however, was a bar to his continuing in 
office in the Romish church ; and he was removed from his see, not for any 
alleged heresy, but solely on account of his having been married. He died 
unmolested, not long before the accession of Elizabeth. 

11 7 Let it not be imagined by any of my readers that I am either here, 
or in any part of this introductory sketch, an advocate for the use of civil 
penalties or external force in repressing error or propagating the tnith : 
" for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, 
to the pulling down of strong holds." 2 Cor. x. 4. The « applications' 
alluded to in the text, as alone effectual for overturning Popery in Ireland 
were, — and I may say, are, for the work has yet to be performed, — the 
' active ' dissemination of the Bible in the vernacular language of the coun- 

A.D. 15-1600. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 69 

The cautious policy of the archbishop was adopted by his 
colleagues in office. The several lords deputies who presided 
over the government of the kingdom, were indifferent, if not 
secretly hostile, to the cause of the Reformation ; or they 
hoped to establish it by the summary agency of royal procla- 
mations and legislative enactments. By one of these gover- 
nors, the reformed liturgy was recommended to the people as 
a mere translation of their former service, the mass ; as if he 
were afraid or ashamed to own its real character : and by an- 
other, the Romish primate was invited to a conference, through 
the extravagant hope of bringing him to such an amicable 
compromise as might terminate all the differences between 
the rival churches. Nor were the bishops, who had accom- 
panied Brown from England and been preferred to Irish 
sees, possessed of a different spirit from their superiors. They 
were distinguished for neither learning nor zeal ; nor do they 
appear to have ever united in any active or combined efforts 
for promoting the Reformation, beyond removing the pictures 
and images from their respective cathedrals. One honourable 
exception, indeed, occurred in the bishop of Ossory, who alone 
was endowed with the talents and actuated by the spirit of a 
reformer. But being unsupported in his vigorous measures 
by the other prelates, while his rigid adherence to Protes- 
tantism . was condemned by his more timid and complying 
brethren, his insulated efforts were not attended with that 
success which would otherwise have undoubtedly followed. 
When Queen Mary ascended the throne, these cautious and 
wary advocates of the Reformation, as might be anticipat- 
ed, either fled in dismay, or, under a profession of Popery, 
concealed their attachment to the truth. During her in- 
auspicious reign, not a single opponent of the Romish faith 
appeared in Ireland ; not a Protestant noble or prelate was 
intrepid enough to protest against its re-establishment, and 

try ; the ' powerful ' preaching of the word ; the ' bold' and honest exposure 
of error ; and the * energetic ' labours of a learned and faithful, and ade? 
quate ministry, throughout the length and breadth of the land. 


extremely few were conscientious enough to refuse conform- 
ing to its superstitious ritual. Even under Elizabeth, the 
civil and ecclesiastical authorities were neither so prompt nor 
so vigorous in advancing the Reformation as were their con- 
temporaries in England. No wonder then that so few in- 
roads were made on the Romish superstition. Could it be 
expected that the people would forsake their ancient religion, 
supported as it was by the combined influence of habit, edu- 
cation, language, prejudice, and antiquity, and adopt the 
Protestant faith, which they saw so reluctantly preached and 
so feebly urged P Even had they understood the language of 
the reformed teachers, how could they be convinced of errors 
which were so timidly exposed, or forsake a course the danger 
of which was so cautiously intimated ? 

To complete this picture of mismanagement in conducting 
the Reformation, much culpable negligence was manifested 
in providing persons sufficiently qualified to carry forward the 
work. It was no doubt impossible to procure at once an 
adequate number of zealous preachers. But no earnest ex- 
ertions appear to have been made by the rulers, in either the 
church or the state, to supply this deficiency. The superior 
clergy who favoured the Reformation were, at first, not more 
than five, and little care was taken to increase their number, 
the remaining sees being occupied by Romish prelates exer- 
cising unrestricted jurisdiction. Most of the northern dioceses 
enjoyed no Protestant bishops before the commencement of the 
seventeenth century. Even then, three of the most extensive 
were held by one individual ; (118) and, until the year 1610, 
there were only the primate and two suffragans to preside 
over the seven sees included in the province of Ulster. (1W > 

118 The sees of Deny, Raphoe, and Clogber, were held by Geo. Mont- 
gomery, a native of Scotland, for several years. In 1610, he resigned the 
former two, and obtained that of Meath, which he held in conjunction with 
Clogher till his death Ware's Bishops. 

119 These were Henry Ussher, archbishop of Armagh ; John Todd, 
bishop of Dromore, Down, and Connor ; and the above George Montgo- 
mery, bishop of Derry, Raphoe, and Clogber Ware's Bishop*. 

A.D. 15-1600. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 71 

Equally, if not more, deplorable was the state of the reformed 
church in the southern and western provinces, where the suc- 
cession of Protestant bishops was so carelessly maintained and 
so frequently interrupted, that even their names soon sunk 
into oblivion. 

Still more lamentable was the want of inferior clergy. 
When the priests in the metropolis, who opposed the Refer- 
mation, resigned their charges, and a most favourable oppor- 
tunity was thus afforded for zealous preachers to disseminate 
the truth in this important station, archbishop Brown would 
not venture to fill up their benefices, lest he might excite a 
still more formidable opposition to his measures. The per- 
sons afterwards employed were not only unfitted by their 
nation and their language for the office of enlightening the 
people ; but were also indolent and worldly, and many of them 
Openly immoral. Even had they been better qualified, their 
number was quite disproportioned to the work necessary to be 
done in so extended and uncultivated a field. No induce^ 
ments were held out to honest and faithful ministers to re- 
move to Ireland, nor sufficient protection and maintenance 
secured to those who were labouring in the cause of truth. 
No pains were employed to discover native teachers, or to 
bring over from Scotland, where there were many such, some 
of those who could use the Irish tongue. Neither were there, 
for a long time, any facilities afforded to those who were de- 
sirous of qualifying themselves for the exercise of the ministry 
in this country. Hence the grossest darkness continued to 
cover the land. Nothing can be more distressing than to 
read the descriptions that contemporary writers have given of 
the ignorance which prevailed among the bulk of the people, 
and which they invariably trace to the scarcity of ministers 
and their inadequacy to their office. " Hard it is," saith a 
chancellor of Ireland, writing to an English nobleman in the 
reign of Edward VI., " that men should know their duties 
to God and to the king, when they shall not hear teaching 
or preaching throughout the year." And in the same letter 


he farther complains ; " preaching we have none, which is 
our lack, without which the ignorant can have no knowledge." 
Such were the measures pursued in the earlier stages of 
the Reformation in Ireland ; and to their manifest inadequacy 
must, in a great degree, be ascribed its limited progress. 
They were insufficient for promoting the cause of religion, 
even under the most favourable circumstances, when opposed 
by neither power, prejudice, nor interest. Need we wonder, 
then* at the failure which ensued, when, under the palpable 
mismanagement already described, the truth had to combat 
with all the obstacles presented by a powerful and crafty 
priesthood, a turbulent and bigoted nobility, and an ignorant 
and superstitious people ! Under these peculiar disadvan- 
tages, nothing but uncompromising fidelity and consummate 
prudence, accompanied with unshrinking seal and perseve- 
ra n c e qualities which the Irish reformers seldom displayed, 
—could have ensured the success of the reformed faith, or 
prepared the country for reaping the full benefit of die judi- 
cious measures adopted in the snccerding reign. 





Accession of James I.—His measures for civilizing Ireland — State of the Pro- 
vince of Ulster— Its moral and religious condition — Early attempts to plant 
colonies on the Eastern coast — James* s project for colonizing the six for- 
feited counties-— Progress of the Northern plantation— Settlement of the 
Hamilton and Montgomery families— Proceedings of the Parliament in 1615 
— And of the Convocation — Articles of religion — General character of the 
first Colonists— -Arrival of Scottish ministers — Brice— Hubbard— Glen- 
1— Ridge— Cunningham — Blair — Hamilton. 

The accession of James I. to the British throne was pro- 
claimed in Dublin, with the usual solemnities, on the fifth of 
April, 1603. All parties in Ireland recognised his claims to 
the crown, and readily received him as their rightful so- 
vereign. The victories of Elizabeth had invested him with 
the undisturbed possession of the entire island, while his love 
of peace and attachment to religion both disposed and enabled 
him to improve this important advantage, which none of his 
predecessors had ever enjoyed. 

He accordingly resolved to lay the foundation of a perma- 
nent peace by wise and conciliatory measures. He received, 
with readiness, the submission of the northern rebels, con- 


ferred on them new titles, and established them securely in 
the possession of their estates. He proclaimed a general 
pardon to all who were concerned in the late rebellions, and 
restored those who had not been attainted to their former 
possessions. The ancient customs which had prevailed through 
the kingdom in place of law were judiciously abolished, and 
the natives were admitted, for the first time, to the privileges 
of subjects, and placed in all respects on an equality with the 
English residents. The estates of their lords, previously held 
on very precarious titles, were secured to them with all the 
formalities of law. Itinerating courts of assize were renewed 
in the southern provinces, after an interruption of two cen- 
turies, and in the north, they were for the first time estab- 
lished ; so that the arm of the law was now extended over the 
entire kingdom, and the administration of justice secured to 
all classes of the people. (1) 

James was no less anxious to promote the religious than 
the civil reformation of the kingdom. He was at first con- 
sidered by the Roman Catholic party as favourable to their 
cause. They were consequently encouraged, in the southern 
parts of the kingdom, to eject the Protestant ministers with 
violence, and openly to celebrate their religious rites in the 
places dedicated to the reformed worship. But the promp- 
titude and vigour of the lord deputy speedily quelled this 
insurrection ; and as the priests were studiously inflaming the 
mortification and disappointment of the people into hatred 
and hostility against his government, a proclamation was is- 
sued commanding the Popish clergy to depart from the king- 
dom or conform to the law. In his measures against Popery, 
however, James appears to have been actuated more by his 
dread of their tenets relative to the temporal power of the 
Pope, than by a conscientious abhorrence of their doctrinal 
errors. The private exercise of their worship was therefore 
connived at, and would have been soon openly tolerated, had 

J Cox's History of Ireland, ii. 9, 10. 

A.D. 1603. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 7*5 

not the discovery of the gunpowder plot in England, and the 
detection of some Romish emissaries in Ireland about the 
same period, roused the king's apprehensions of foreign inter- 
ference, and determined him to refuse all public countenance 
to a religion so hostile to the rights of princes. Irritated at 
this resolution of James, and urged on by the disaffected 
clergy, several of the northern nobles, who had been pre- 
viously favoured by him, and had sworn fealty to the crown, 
entered into a conspiracy against his government, and applied 
to the courts of France and Spain to aid them in subverting 
the English power in Ireland. This plot, however, was 
happily discovered before the time appointed for its execution 
had arrived. Its chief promoters, the earls of Tyrone and 
Tyrconnell, fled in dismay, leaving their estates at the mercy 
of the king ; and, shortly afterwards, a second insurrection 
being raised in Ulster, in which its leader, O'Dogherty, was 
slain, another extensive portion of that province reverted to 
the crown. In consequence of these and other forfeitures, 
about half a million of acres, and nearly six entire counties 
in Ulster, were placed at the disposal of the king. The prin- 
cipal part of these territories James wisely resolved to plant 
with English and Scottish colonies, with the combined view 
of rendering the lands more profitable, establishing the peace 
and prosperity of this part of the kingdom hitherto the most 
turbulent, and securing the more general and speedy dissemin- 
ation of the reformed faith. 

That the wisdom and value of this memorable scheme of 
colonization may be clearly understood and appreciated, it 
will be necessary to describe the civil and religious state of 
Ulster at the accession of James. 

This province having been the chief seat of the rebellions 
which disturbed the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth, was 
reduced to the lowest extremity of poverty and wretchedness. 
Though no longer distracted by intestine war, the peace which 
it enjoyed was solely owing to the desolations which it had 
suffered. The descriptions which contemporary writers have 


given of its wretched state would appear incredible, were they 
not unfortunately too well authenticated to admit of any ra- 
tional doubt. The country was almost depopulated, and 
wasted in all its resources. The wretched remnant of its in- 
habitants who had survived the ravages of an exterminating 
contest, su(l creel the combined horrors of its ghastly attend- 
ants — pestilence and famine. (2) With the exception of the 
few fortified cities which it contained, its towns and villages 
were levelled to the ground, and scarcely any building re- 
mained, save the insulated castles occupied by the English, 
or the pitiful cabins of the natives, too poor to be plundered.* 3 * 
The face of the country was intersected by immense woods, 
and covered with numerous marshes. Cultivation was occa- 
sionally visible only in some favoured spots, but so wretchedly 
conducted as scarcely to yield the necessaries of life. <4) Its 
products of grain and cattle, in which alone consisted the 
wealth of the country, had been swept away by the wars ; and 
the few proprietors who survived were reduced to such poverty, 
as to be altogether unable to resume with profit the labours 
of the field : while many betook themselves to the woods, 
where they lived almost in a state of nature, supported by 

* Morr : »oti. ii. 17'-\ £00, As* 

* The tol.owin£ li>t of £*rrisons held by the British in Ulster, in liny, 
ItiOft. compiled from MoniMm, v Hist. L 7& 155, '253; and it 131, 184, 
VOK &*Kt wili ivmov tome idea of the military state of the province :— 
iW». — Ncwry, ItOumi; Lee*!e. or lVromparrick, including Dnndnun 
and Ai4tfl*v«« *J00; Nam»\v-w*ter ; laiveneastle. Amirim. — Carrickfer- 
gtfe. twW; iVome: OMeiiuvr. .4rauH;£. — Armagh. loO; Mountnorris, 
I J* 4 ; Kum>UtU£M % iu .Vo»k«v.v*. — MtMis^h&i' and Ku$ke, including some 
othrr ea»tUr«. !V**» CUtva* — t avsuu ltV; C Icuifcaucfcter ; Ballinicargy. 
/Vm.:««*A. — KnM>l,m*n cr.c >oa:c optics £*rri$oned from Ballyshannon. 
7\*v«f — IVwmcK UX>; rb*rietu**tt« IjO: Mounter. SjO ; Neirtonetevrart, 
UM; lhim»*iu K>0; Aitj&er. iVny. — lVrry % S50 ; (ulmore, 20; 
AuKyK, UV ; 1 olcruiKe* If 'A iAw\C_lYr*pdh Asberaw. Bally. 
»WitiKw. in/tudi: j: ovw :k Kmuiuyh. t'«X>: Li&xd. 350; Puaafong. 
IV; Kitmaovtjw. !'V : KkR^-M^ !iV ; IV*. UX>; l^mi;. 100; and 
Hurt, L*V 


plunder, and secure amidst the general poverty and desola- 
tion by which they were surrounded. (5) 

The moral and religious state of Ulster, it may well be 
supposed, was scarcely less deplorable. Though, during the 
reign of Elizabeth, the reformed doctrines had reached a few 
of its principal cities, and been openly professed in them ; 
yet so far as the general population was concerned, it can 
scarcely be said to have passed, at the accession of James, 
the frontiers of the province. A Roman Catholic histo- 
rian (6) describes Ulster, at this period, as " the most constant 
in maintaining its liberty, and in preserving the Catholic re- 
ligion ; " while, at the same time, he acknowledges that his 
religion had disappeared from many other parts of the king- 
dom. The sees of Deny, Raphoe, and Clogher, which com- 
prised the greater part of the province, were occupied, even 
so late as the year 1605, by Roman Catholic prelates, around 
whom were necessarily collected numerous priests and friars ; 
and the abbeys, though formally dissolved half a century be- 

* Cox, ii. S. The following brief notices, taken from Sir Henry Syd- 
ney's account of the state of Ulster in 1575, exhibit a deplorable picture of 
even the best parts of the province :— " Lecak, much of the country waste, 
but on the mending hand.— Dufferin, or White's country, all waste and de- 
solate—the Ardes, much impoverished, but in good hope of recovery ; for 
that there are many freeholders of English race, of ancient habiting there— 
[AH these districts are in the county Down] — County of Clandeboy utterly 
disinhabited — town of Knockfergus much decayed and impoverished, no 
ploughs going at all, where before were many ; and great store of kyne and 
cattle belonging to the town, now few or none left, church and bouses, sav- 
ing castles, burned, the inhabitants fled, not above 'five householders of any 
countenance left remaining — the Gtynnes and the BouU> possessed by the 
Scots, now governed by Sorly Boy." These districts include the whole of 
the county Antrim. The Scots here mentioned were piratical marauders 
and Roman Catholics from the western islands, and must not be confound- 
ed with those who came over at the plantation of Ulster. Sir Henry de- 
scribes Armagh town as " miserable, the fort imperfect, and the church all 
down." He says, that " at the passage of the water at Belfast, by reason 
of the tide's extraordinary return, our horses swam, and the footmen waded 
very deep." Sydney papers, i. 76—9. 

<* Du Pin, in his Eoc. Hist, folio, iii. 6C3. 


fore, were not actually resumed by the crown, nor their use- 
less inmates ejected till about the same period. The con- 
tinual wars, of which this province had been the seat, pre- 
vented the access of reformed ministers to its scanty and re- 
duced population ; while many of those who were thinly scat- 
tered over the country were more detrimental than useful to 
the advancement of the truth. 

A protestant minister, who afterwards became a prelate in 
Ulster, and who cannot be suspected of any inclination to un- 
dervalue the character of his brethren, has given a sad de- 
scription both of the paucity and inadequacy of the northern 
clergy about this period. " In many places, there is no 
minister at all ; in many places, a minister as good as none, 
even a dumb dog that cannot bark, an idol [idle] shepherd 
who is not apt to teach, nor able to confute ; in other places, 
a lewd and scandalous minister whose not Gospel-like beha- 
viour is a stumbling-block to them that are without. Even 
as the prince of Cuba in India said, he would not go to hea- 
ven if the Spaniards went thither, because he thought that 
could be no good place where such cruel tyrants were : so, 
many of this country will not be of our religion, because they 
think that can be no true religion which hath so unconscion- 
able professors and ministers." (7) In consequence of the in- 
dolence and insufficiency of such a clergy as are here describ- 
ed, as well as owing to the ruinous state of the churches 
which had shared in all the ravages of war, " divine service 
had not for years together been used in any parish church 

7 Extracted from n sermon on 1 Tim. ii. 5, by Henry Leslie* at this 
time curate of Drogheda, afterwards the noted bishop of Down and Con- 
nor. It is entitled " A Treatise tending to Unitie, in a sermon preached 
at Droghedah on Whitsunday, being on the ninth of June 1622, before the 
King's Majestie's Commissioners for Ireland. 1 * 4to, Dublin, 1629, pp. 52. 
This sermon, now very rare, appears to have been the earliest of his pro- 
ductions ; for, in his dedication to Primate Hampton, he modestly calls it* 
*' the first fruits of my weak engine." The reader will afterwards be pre- 
sented with more matured, though less agreeable * fruits/ from the same 


throughout Ulster, except in some city or principal towns/' < 8) 
This province thus appeared to be the most secure refuge of 
the ancient superstition, at the very time when, by the pro- 
jected introduction of British colonists, it was upon the eve of 
becoming the most permanent seat of the reformed faith. 

This project, though perhaps the most extensive and suc- 
cessful, was not the first that had been formed for the coloni- 
zation of Ulster. So early as the year 1559, it was one of 
the instructions given to the Earl of Sussex, when he came 
over as lord deputy, to " people Ulster with English ; ,,(y) and 
not many years afterwards, Queen Elizabeth took measures 
for carrying this object into effect, in the counties of Down 
and Antrim. In the former, by the rebellion of Shane 
O'Neill, a large tract of country in the Ards was forfeited to 
the crown ; and, in 15] 2, was granted to Sir Thomas Smith, 
on condition of planting it with English settlers. But his 
son, whom he sent over to conduct the settlement, being 
killed by a neighbouring chief, the design was very partially 
executed ; and James finding, at his accession, the conditions 
of the former patent not duly fulfilled, recalled it, and grant* 
ed the lands to other proprietors. In Antrim, Elizabeth had 
also attempted to place an English colony. The greater part 
of this county, especially that bordering on the coast, was 
possessed by marauding clans from the islands of Scotland, 
chiefly of the Macdonnells, who had forcibly wrested it from 
the natives. (10) In time, however, these Scots intermarried 

8 Carte's Ormond, i. 17. » Cox, i. 313. De*. Cur. Heb. i. 2. 

10 The following extract from a scarce work entitled, " The Govern- 
ment of Ireland under Sir John Perrott, Knt.," &c. Lond. 1626, 4to. 
pp. 136, shows how these Highland clans obtained a footing in Antrim. 
About the year 1584, " the deputy received intelligence of the approach of a 
thousand Scottish islanders, called Redshanks, being of the septs or families 
of the Cambiles, Macconnells, [Macdonnells] and Magalanes, drawne to 
invade Ulster by Surleboy, one of that nation, who had usurped, and by 
power and strong hand, possessed himself of the Macquilies, [M'Quillans] 
and other men's lands in Ulster, called the Glinnes and the Route ; mean- 
ing to hold that by force, which he had gotten without right, by violence, 


with the Irish, and frequently joined in rendering their oppo- 
sition to the English power much more formidable than it 
would otherwise have been. Elizabeth, therefore, deter- 
mined to curb, and, if possible, eject these turbulent in- 
truders, by establishing an English settlement in that part of 
the country. Accordingly, in 1573, she apprised the lord 
deputy that, " in the month of August, the Earl of Essex, 
with 2000 men would come to inhabit the forfeited lands in 
the Glynns, Route, and Clandeboy, which she had granted 
to them ;" but, at the same time, she desired the deputy to 
give notice that " Essex came to expel the Scots, and not to 
hurt the Irish ." He soon after arrived at Carrickfergus, with 
numerous persons of quality in his train, as intended settlers ; 
but owing to the lateness of the season, and several unexpect- 
ed difficulties in the execution of the plan, many of his fol- 
lowers returned in disgust to England. (11) Having succeeded 
in driving the Scots only out of Claneboy, he, not long 
after, altogether abandoned the design. (12) The lands there- 
fore reverted to their former occupiers ; and in 1603, James I. 
confirmed Sir Randal Macdonnell in the possession of the ter- 
ritory of the Route. (ia) In various other parts both of Down 
and Antrim, James had granted estates to his favourite officers, 
on condition of planting them with British occupants, several 
years before that great plantation took place, the circumstances 
of which will now be detailed. 

The chief agent employed in conducting this memorable 
scheme was Sir Arthur Chichester, on whom the king had con- 
ferred a considerable estate in Antrim. He was appointed lord 
deputy of the kingdom in February 1605. He was pecu- 

fraud and injury." Page 12. Surly Boy, that is, Charles the yellow, 
was the Gaelic or Irish name of the chief of the Macdonnells. 

11 Several, however, of Essex's officers remained in the country, so that 
the enterprise was not entirely fruitless as a colonizing experiment. Of 
these I may notice the founders of the noble families of Downshire, Tem- 
plet own, and I believe Ma«sarr cne ; and also of the Dalways, Dobbs. &c. 

12 fox, i. 990,2141. w Cox, ii. B. 


*- A.D. 1610. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 81 

well qualified for executing with success the task assigned 
; possessing, as he did, sound judgment and discretion, 
combined with a just sense of religion, and great experience 
in conducting affairs of state. His first care was to have 
the six forfeited counties minutely surveyed ; and having sa- 
tisfied himself of their extent, capabilities and situation, he 
drew up the plan by which their subsequent plantation was 
principally regulated. They were allotted to three classes of 
persons— British undertakers, who voluntarily engaged in the 
enterprise — servitors of the crown, consisting of civil and mi- 
litary officers — and natives, whom it was expected this confi- 
dence and liberality would render loyal subjects. The 
lands were divided into three proportions of two thou- 
sand, fifteen hundred and one thousand acres. The oc- 
cupiers of the largest proportion were bound, within 
fcur years, to build a castle and bawn, (14) and to plant 
mi their estates forty-eight able men, eighteen years old 
er upwards, of English or Scottish descent. Those of 
the second class were obliged to build, within two years, a 
strong stone or brick house and bawn ; and those of the third 
* bawn ; while both were bound to plant a proportionable 
Dumber of British families on their possessions, and to have 
their houses furnished with a sufficiency of arms. Various 
other judicious restrictions and limitations were prescribed, 
under which the escheated lands were disposed of to one 
hundred and four English and Scottish undertakers, fifty-six 
servitors, and two hundred and eighty-six natives, who gave 
bonds to the state for the fulfilment of their covenants, and 
who were required to render an annual account of their pro- 
gress in carrying on the plantation. In this enumeration 

M A bawn was simply a walled enclosure, usually with towers at the 
angles. Within it was placed the house or castle, and it was sufficient to 
secure the inmates and their stock of cattle from the incursions of the ma- 
rauding Irish. A specimen of the better kind of these bawns may be seen 
in tolerable preservation, at Bellahill near Carrickfergus, the seat of Mar- 
riott Dalway, Esq. 

VOL. I. o 


of undertakers, the corporation of the city of London de- 
serve particular notice from the extensive possessions which 
were committed to their care. Nearly the whole of the 
county of Colcrainc — now called, in allusion to this circum- 
stance* the county of Londonderry — was allotted them, on 
condition of their building and fortifying the cities of Lon- 
donderry and Colciminc, and otherwise expending twenty 
thousand pounds on the plantation. (U> 

In this liberal distribution of the forfeited lands, the king 
took wpecial care to provide for the support of the church, to 
the poverty of which was ascribed much of the ignorance and 
superstition which then pervaded die province. He restored 
hi the sew all their eccksiastkal possessions, the greater part 
of which had been alienated by die violence and cupidity of 
the noble*; and for the maintenance of the inferior clergy, he 
induced the bishops to resign their impropriations, and to re- 
linquish the m)m ftractty paid them, by die parishes, in 
(kvewr of the ra^ecriv* incumbents. Parochial churches 
w*r* ordered mi be ivpairwL and glebes allotted to die mmi- 
ater* ; and Aw the revival and cacmragesaent of learning, a 
Aw *ch**l was cwtemvJ in the p ri nc i p a l sown of entry dioc ese. 

In the year ItSHV die lands hngan ta be generally occupi- 
ed* a^wahbr i* the plan new hrittfy detailed. Owing to 
the vicinity wT&NriuiJ as Vlstcr* ss vnell as in dm haidJnci 
and enterprise «f it* n*uv**> the prinrsfsd part of the settlers 
«wne Avwa that ku^lessK TV nerth-castern parts of the 
pnmuM* *w tins **rapi<vl K tkem. wince they spread 

%■&> s u ,vuMf^»r<Kv a; %-W* *W Udi& %** nr«R *dTuiM « cN 


themsebes over the remoter districts. The southern and 
western parts were chiefly planted with the English, between 
whom and the Scots there existed the most friendly co-opera- 
tion. The decayed and almost deserted cities (16> were now 
replenished with inhabitants ; the lands were gradually cleared 
of the woods; towns were built and incorporated ; houses erect- 
ed through the cultivated country ; and in every direction 
there was ample testimony afforded of the peaceableness and 
industry of the new occupants. Their situation, however, 
was not without its difficulties. The woods and fastnesses 
were still frequented by bands of the irreclaimable natives, who 
plundered their possessions as often as a favourable opportu- 
nity occurred. A contemporary writer states, among similar 

w Blennerhassett, in his " Direction for the Plantation in Ulster," Loud. 
1610, tout describes Armagh -. " How exceedingly well standeth Ardmath, 
better seat for rich soil there cannot be, but so poor, as I do verily think, 
all the household stuff in that city is not worth L.20. Yet it is the pri- 
mate of all Ireland, and, as they say, for antiquity, one of the most an- 
cient in all Europe. It is also of so small power as forty resolute men 
may rob, rifle, and born it Were it a defenced corporation, it would soon 
be rich and religious, and the security would make one acre more worth 
than now twenty be." The town of Clogber is thus described in the M Me- 
morial of the life and death of Bishop Spottiswoode," printed by the late 
unfortunate Sir Alexander Boswell, from a manuscript in the Auchinleck 
library. " The Bishop of Clogher had now begun to settle himself at 
Clogber, in the county of Tyrone, which was of old an ancient city, 
dtcored with two churches and a great number of inhabitants: but 
in the late wars was utterly ruined, the churches undermined and fired, 
the bishop's, and the abbott's, and canons* houses were demolished ; and, at 
the bishop's coming to dwell there in the year 1628, there were no more 
than ten or twelve poor people dwelling in cottages patched up with 
s kicas and wattles," Mem. p. 66. I may add, that I procured this " Me- 
morial " in the hope that much interesting matter, illustrative of the religi- 
ous state of Ulster, would certainly be found in the life of a northern 
bishop, extending from 1621 to 1641. But though frequently disappoint- 
ed before in similar purchases, I never was so mortified as on this occasion. 
There is not a single met, in the eighty quarto pages of which it con- 
sists, relating to the state of religion, or the affaire of the church, though, 
with the exception of the few concluding pages, the bishop himself was 
evidently the writer. 


instances, that " Sir Toby CaufielcPs people are driren every 
night to lay up all his cattle, as it were, in ward ; and do he 
and his what they can, the woolfe and the wood-kerne withim 
culiver shot of his fort, have oftentimes a share ;" even " in 
the English pale," he adds, '< Sir John King and Sir 
Henry Harrington, within half a mile of Dublin, do the 
like, for those forenamed enemies do every night survey the 
fields to the very walls of Dublin."* 17 * The difference of 
climate, too, occasioned by the insular situation of the coun- 
try, and by the many woods and marshes which covered its sur- 
face, was severely felt by the settlers, and tended for a time 
to retard the plantation. 

Notwithstanding these and other hinderances peculiar to 
such an enterprise, it flourished amazingly. The following 
notices from an unpublished manuscript by a Presbyterian 
minister, whose father accompanied the first settlers, (18) will 
serve to illustrate its progress in the north-eastern parts of 
the province. Of the English, he states, not many came 
over, " for it is to be observed that being a great deal more 
tenderly bred at home in England, and entertained in better 
quarters than they could find here in Ireland, they were very 
unwilling to flock hither, except to good land, such as they 
had before at home, or to good cities where they might trade ; 
both of which in these days were scarce enough here. Be- 

*7 Blennerhassett's Direction, &c. 

18 This manuscript history was written by the Rev. Andrew Stewart, 
minister of Donaghadee from 1645 to 1671, son to the Rev. A. Stewart, 
whom the reader in Chap. II. will find settled at I)onegore It is en- 
titled, " A short account of the Church of Christ as it was ( 1 ) among the 
Irish at first ; (2) among and after the English entered ; (3) after the entry 
of the Scots." The third part is chiefly valuable, but it unfortunately ex- 
tends no farther than tbe formation of the monthly meeting at Antrim, in 
1626. It is deposited among the Wodrow MSS., in the Advocates* 
library, Edinburgh. (Rob. iii. 4, 17. No. 8.) Prefixed to it, is a letter 
from the Rev. Andrew Crawford, minister of Carnmoney. dated Sept 7th, 
1724, in whirh he states that he had faithfully transcribed the copy, there- 
with sent to Wodrow, from the original in the handwriting of Mr. Stewart, 
his maternal uncle. 


sides that the marshiness and fogginess of this Island was 
still found unwholesome to English bodies, more tenderly 
bred and in a better air ; so that we have seen, in our time, 
multitudes of them die of a flux, called here the country dis- 
ease, at their first entry. These things were such discourage* 
ments that the new English came but very slowly, and die 
old English were become no better than the Irish." He 
then adds, that " the king had a natural love to have Ireland 
planted with Scots, as being, beside their loyalty, of a middle 
temper between the English tender and the Irish rude breed- 
ing, and a great deal more like to adventure to plant Ulster 
than the English, it lying far both from the English native land 
and more from their humour, while it lies nigh to Scotland, 
and the inhabitants not so far from the ancient Scots man- 
ners : so that it might be hoped that the Irish untoward liv- 
ing would be met both with equal firmness, if need be, and 
be especially allayed by the example of more civility and 
Protestant profession than in former times had been among 

The progress of the plantation is thus described : " The 
Londoners have in Lagan a great interest, and built a 
city called Londonderry, chiefly planted with English. 
Coleraine, also, is built by them, both of them sea-ports, 
though Derry be both the more commodious and famous. 
Sir Hugh Clotworthy obtains the lands of Antrim, both 
fruitful and good, and invites thither several of the English, 
very good men, the Ellisses, Leslies, Langfords and others. 
Chichester, a worthy man, has an estate given him in the 
county of Antrim, where he improves his interest, builds the 
prospering mart Belfast, and confirms his interest in Carrick- 
fergus, and builds a stately palace there. Conway has an 
estate given him in the county of Antrim, and builds a town, 
afterwards called Lisnegarvy, and this was planted with a 
colony of English also. Moses Hill had woodlands given 
him, which being thereafter demolished, left a fair and beau- 
tiful country, where a late heir of the Hills built a towti 


called Hillsborough. All these lands and more weie given 
to the English gentlemen, worthy persons, who afterwards 
increased and made noble and loyal families in places where 
formerly had been nothing but robbing, treason, and rebellion. 
Of the Scots nation, there was a family of the Balfburs, of 
the Forbesses, of the Grahames, two of the Stewarts, and not 
a few of the Hamiltons. The Macdonnells founded the earl- 
dom of Antrim by King James's gift, the Hamiltons the 
earldoms of Strabane and Clanbrassil, and there were besides 
several knights of that name, Sir Frederick, Sir George, Sir 
Francis, Sir Charles his son, and Sir Hans, all Hamiltons ; 
for they prospered above all others in this country after the 
first admittance of the Scots into it." 

The writer then gives the following account of the settlement, 
in the county of Down, of the Hamilton and Montgomery fami- 
lies, who proved the most successful promoters of the Scottish 
plantation, and were intimately connected with the subsequent 
vicissitudes of the Presbyterian church in Ulster :— 

« There had been one of the O'Neills, called Con O'Neill, 
a man of great lands in that country, both in Down and 
Antrim. This man being rebellious, and his land falling to 
the king, was apprehended by the then deputy Chichester, 
and was laid up in the king's castle at Carrickfergus ; a drun- 
ken, sluggish man, but he had a sharp nimble woman to his 
wife. The deputy thought to have him to suffer acoarding 
to law, and to be chief sharer in his lands. But divine pro- 
vidence had otherwise appointed. For the woman, his wife, 
in the greatness of her spirit, taking in high indignation 
that her husband was not only captive, but appointed to an 
ignominious death, soon resolved that the saving his life with 
a part of his estate was better than to lose all. Therefore 
this she strongly intends and diligently endeavours. But in 
a throng of thoughts how to accomplish her desire, she lights 
on this expedient, viz., to pass secretly to the next Scottish 
shore, and there light, if she could, on some good instrument 
for making good her design. And God leading her to Mr. 

A.D. 1610. CHURCH IN IRELAND. - 87 

Hugh Montgomery, of Broadstone, in Scotland, a man sober, 
kind, humane, and trusty, to whom she revealed her hus- 
band's case and her own desire, saying, if Mr* Montgomery 
would be at pains and charge to purchase from the king her 
husband's life and liberty, with a third part of the estate for 
him and her to live on, the said Montgomery should, with their 
great good- will, have the other two parts, to be purchased by 
the king's grant. Montgomery considering the matter wisely 
and maturely, entertains the gentlewoman with all kindness, 
till he was ripe to give her answer, which, in short, was this, 
that if she should find the way to deliver her husband Cob 
out of the deputy's hands, and let him have the secure keep- 
ing of his person, with such assurance as he could give that 
the articles should be performed which she had proposed in 
her husband's name ; then would he make adventure and 
labour for the said Con's life and liberty. 

" On these beginnings they proceed. The wife en- 
deavours her husband's delivery, and Montgomery to have 
a vessel ready to send for him upon notice given. The 
woman therefore returning with what speed she could to 
Ireland; had access, when she would, into the castle of 
Canickfergus, where her husband was ; sometime to brim? 
in clothes, sometime drink, sometime meat, and never 
almost without some appearance of a good errand. At 
last she had appointed a boat to come from Bangor, 
which being light, might even come under the castle and 
Deceive Con out at a window, at a certain hour, and thus 
to effect it. For one day she came into the chamber with 
two big cheeses, the meat being neatly taken out, and filled 
with cords well packed in, and the holes handsomely made 
up again. Those she brought to him without any suspicion 
of deceit, and left him to hank himself down from the win- 
dow at such a time when, by moonshine, he might see the 
boat ready, and so begone as was already contrived. All this 
is done accordingly, and Con brought over to the church of 
Bangor, where in an old steeple he is hid, and kept till sud) 


time as Hugh Montgomery might be advertised to send a 
relief for him. And indeed, it was not long till, wind and 
weather serving, there is a boat sent with Patrick Montgo- 
mery, afterwards of Creboy in Ireland, to carry Con away. 
And away he went, and was well and kindly entertained in Soot* 
land by the family of Broadstone, till Hugh made ready and 
went to London,to do what he could to bring his desire to pass. 1 * 
Stewart then proceeds to state that Montgomery applied 
to Mr. James Hamilton, who had relinquished his fellow- 
ship in Dublin College, and who, with Sir James Ful- 
lerton, was in high favour at the English court, to for- 
ward the application on behalf of O'Neill, promising— 
" a half of his two parts, if by his friends and means he might 
have access to work out Con's pardon, and have the king's 
gift of the lands to be divided among the three ; for it was 
thought sufficient for them all. Mr. James Hamilton, glad 
of this, makes way first with the Hamiltons, then with others 
of the English and Scottish nobility ; that now Montgomery 
is well heard and especially respected by his majesty, and in 
a word the grant is given out — Con has his life and a third 
part, Montgomery has a third part, and Mr. James Hamilton 
has a third part of Con O'Neill's estate in Down. im Hugh 
Montgomery and James Hamilton are both made knights ; 
but the king's pleasure was that Montgomery should have 
the precedency, being not only a gentleman as the other was, 
but an inheritor under him, and his vassal in Scotland. Be- 
sides, that he perceived that Hamilton, through the efficiency 
of wit and friendship, had obtained the better share of the 
dividend. For besides that in the patent he engrossed many 
more church lands than the other, he was so wise as to take, 
at easy terms, endless leases of much more of Con's third 
part, and from other despairing Irishes, than Sir Hugh had 
done. And so it was, indeed, the one had the precedency in 
possession, the other priority in honour, and thus the king 

19 The date of this transaction is the 16th of April, 1005. Montg, 
Afanu*. p. 3£ 


tried to satisfy them both ; but all that did it not, for they 
quarrelled afterwards to their this clay's loss, and to their 
great cost. These two knights having received their lands, 
were shortly after made Lords Montgomery of Ards, and 
Hamilton of Claneboy. But land without inhabitants, is 
a burden without relief. The Irish were gone, the ground 
was desolate, rent roust be paid to the king, tenants were 
none to pay to them. (80) Therefore the lords having a good 
bargain themselves, make some of their friends sharers, as 
freeholders under them. Thus came several farmers under 
Mr. Montgomery, gentlemen from Scotland, and of the 
names of the Shaws, Calderwoods, Boyds, of the Keiths 
from the North. And some foundations are laid for towns, 
and incorporations, as Newton, Donaghadee, Comber, Old 
and New Grey-Abbey. < 21) Many Hamiltons also followed 
Sir James, especially his own brethren, all of them worthy 
men ; and other farmers, as the Maxwells, Rosses, Barclays, 
Moors, Bayleys, and others, whose posterity hold good to 
this day. He also founded towns and incorporations, viz., 
Bangor, Holy wood, and Killileagh, where he built a strong 
castle, and Ballywalter. These foundations being laid, the 
Scots came hither apace, and became tenants willingly and 

* ** Let us pause awhile, and we shall wonder how this plantation ad- 
vanced itself, especially in and about the towns of Donaghadee and New- 
ton ; considering that in the spring-time, 1606, those parishes were more 
watted than America when the Spaniards landed there ; for in all these three 
puriffrfft aforesaid, thirty cabins could not be found, nor any stone-walls ; 
but rained roofless churches, and a few vaults at Grey- Abbey, and a stump 
of an old castle hi Newton." Montg. Manus. p. 49. 

n In addition to what is stated- above, the following paragraph, showing 
the way in which Sir Hugh provided for the church, is supplied from the 
Montg. Manus. p. 47 — " He considered that the contentions which too fre- 
quently happen concerning tythes, might breed dislike and aversion between 
the people and minister. Therefore he gave unto the incumbents salaries, 
with glebes and perquisites for marriages, christenings, burials, and easter- 
onVrings ; the clerk and sexton also had their share of dues ; and the people 
in those days resorted to church, and submitted to its censures, and paid 
willingly their small ecclesiastical dues ; and so were in no hazard of suits 
in the ecclesiastical courts." Sir James Hamilton adopted a similar plan. 



nib-tenants to their countrymen, (whose manner and way 
they knew,) so that in a short time the country began again 
to be inhabited." <» 

The progress of the plantation in the other parts of 
Ulster was not so rapid as it thus appears to have been in 
Down and Antrim. It advanced so slowly in the forfeited 
counties, that frequent inquiries, by order of the crown, were 
made into its progress. The last and most important of these 
surveys was made by Pynnar in the year 1618, from which 
it appears that " though 8000 men of British birth and 
descent, able to bear arms, were settled in the oountry ; yet 
the fourth part of the land was not fully inhabited." He 
also states, that there had been erected one hundred and 
seven castles with bawns, nineteen castles without bawns, 
forty-two bawns without castles or houses, and one thousand 
eight hundred and ninety-seven dwelling-houses of stone and 
timber— a very insufficient number, when the extent of country, 
and the time which had elapsed from the commencement of 
the plantation, are considered.* 83 ' The success of the under- 
taking would have been still greater, had the original ooadt- 

s* This account by Stewart differs, in some important points, both from 
tbat given by Lodge in his " Peerage of Ireland," and from the u Montgo- 
mery Manuscripts," first printed at Belfast in the year 1880. The latter 
two being interested accounts, I prefer that by Stewart, who was uncon- 
nected with either the Montgomery or the Hamilton family, and therefore 
most likely to be an impartial narrator. 

» The extent of the forfeited lands is stated by Carte at " above half 
a million of acres ;" bat Pynnar, who is much more accurate, gives it at 
about 400,000 acres, situated in the counties of Deny, Donegall, Tyrone, 
Armagh, Fermanagh, and Cavan, — the whole extent of these six coun- 
ties being above two millions of acres. The remaining million and a-half 
of acres comprised not only the unprofitable lands, but also large tracts of 
country held by the native proprietors, who, either being not implicated ia 
the revolt of 1607, or having made timely submission^ were unmolested in 
their estates. From a careful examination of Pynnar's valuable Survey, 
alluded to in the text, and first printed by Harris in his " Hibernica," foL 
Dub. 1747, I find that of the 400,000 forfeited acres, 100,000 were 
granted for church, school, and corporation lands ; above 60,000 were re- 
granted to the native Irish ; and the remaining 240,000 were oltpotad of to 
the British undertakers or colonists, the majority of whose tenants were 


tions been strictly adhered to. But, as might be anticipated, 
in so extensive a scheme, interfering with so many former 
claims, conferring so many new rights, and intrusted to so 
many agents, it appears from Pynnar that numerous devia- 
tions from the original project took place, notwithstand- 
ing all the vigilance of the lord deputy ; and that these con- 
tributed in many places to mar the prosperity of the under- 
taking, and to disappoint the expectations which had been 
formed of its beneficial influence on the province. At the 
same time these exceptions only rendered more apparent the 
general wisdom and propriety of the plantation. For, at the 
present day, we can easily discern in their inferior improve- 
ment and civilization, those districts where the prescribed 
conditions were neglected, and a departure made from the 
original plan. 

Soon after the commencement of the plantation, a parlia- 
ment was summoned to give the sanction of law to its various 
arrangements. Numbers of the Scots had come over t? 
Ulster, while many of the native Irish had been permitted 
to oocupy lands in the midst of the new settlers. It therefore 
became necessary to repeal those injudicious acts which, in 
former times, had been passed to prevent the English inhabi- 
tants of the kingdom from maintaining any communion 
either with the Irish or the Scots. This was accordingly 
done, to the great joy of all parties. With regard to the 
native Irish, all the odious edicts which had marked them out 
as the natural enemies of Government, and forbade them, 
under the penalties of high treason, to intermarry with the 
English ; and which made it felony in the latter to hold inter- 
course with them, or employ them in the fostering of their 
children, were specifically repealed, though they had long 

also Irish, the original inhabitant* of Ulster. These facts it is necessary 
to bear in mind, as. Roman Catholic, and sometimes Protestant, writers 
represent the forfeited lands as comprising the whole^of the six counties, 
and speak of the colonization of Ulster as having dispossessed and displaced 
the entire native population of the province. Both of these statements are 


before become obsolete. And with regard to the Soots, the 
statute of Queen Mary was repealed, by which the Anglo-Irish 
were forbidden to introduce diem into the kingdom, to inter- 
many with them, or to retain them in their service. For 
though this act was originally applied only to those Scottish 
marauders from the Highlands who infested Ulster, and kept 
it for many centuries involved in turbulent contests, yet as 
the act describes these intruders by the general name of 
Scots, it was now necessary for the satisfaction and security of 
the late settlers from that kingdom, that it should be formally 
rescinded, lest in the hands of future legislators, its penalties 
might be brought to bear upon those peaceable, loyal, and 
industrious emigrants. The Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, 
with O'Dogherty and the other rebels, whose lands were 
possessed by the British, were now also attainted, and the 
confiscation of their properties was sanctioned by law ; that no 
shadow of a doubt might remain, with regard to the legality 
and security of the late plantation. 

In conjunction with the parliament, a convocation of the 
clergy was summoned to meet in 1615. The church had 
now attained such stability and influence in the kingdom, 
that, for the first time, it became both necessary and practi- 
cable to hold such an assembly. The sees were all filled with 
Protestant prelates, whom the peaceful condition of the king- 
dom enabled to assemble in the metropolis ; while the state 
of the church, as a national establishment independent of 
that in England, rendered it necessary that its faith should 
be formally declared, and its future government regulated. 
The statutes already in force in the kingdom respected solely 
the celebration of public worship, which had been made 
conformable to that of the English Church. Bishops were 
consecrated, and the sacraments dispensed according to the 
same ritual, and the ecclesiastical courts were similarly con- 
stituted. But as yet the Irish Church had adopted no dis- 
tinct confession of faith ; and it was principally to supply 
this defect that the clergy were now convoked. By some of 


the prelates it was proposed to adopt the thirty-nine articles 
of the sister-church of England. But the majority conceived 
it more consistent with the character and independence of 
their national church, to frame a new confession of their own. 
Such at least was the ostensible reason assigned for taking 
this step, though the real cause most probably was a secret 
dislike to many of the English articles. The individual to 
whom was intrusted the drawing up of the confession, was 
Dr. James Ussher, who had already been distinguished for 
his theological learning, and who at this period was professor 
of divinity in the college in Dublin.* 94 * This important task 
he executed to the entire satisfaction of the parliament and 
both the houses of convocation. The confession thus unani- 
mously adopted was transmitted to England, where it was 
approved by the king in council. The same year it was so- 
lemnly ratified, in his Majesty's name in Dublin, by the lord 
deputy Chichester, and formally published as the accredited 
standard of the national faith. 

This important document merits particular attention, as 
clearly evincing the doctrinal principles on which the Irish 
Church was founded, and the scriptural maxims by which it 
was then regulated. In England contrary views and prin- 
ciples were at that period unhappily predominant There, 
even under James, the most rigid conformity continued to be 
urged with extreme violence. The heads of the hierarchy 
indignantly refused to consult the scruples of the puritans ; 
and instead of seeking, by some comprehensive and charitable 
scheme, to continue them in communion with the church, 
and thus give it the benefit of their zeal and learning, they 
laboured to detect them by new tests, that they might more 
effectually exclude and punish these conscientious though 
nonconforming brethren. They would neither render their 
doctrinal articles more explicit, nor reduce the number or 

M Ussher was at this time professor of divinity, not provost, at stated by 
Neil, in bis account of these articles. 


authority of their canons. Their chum* of eecfesisstie&I power 
were quite as extravagant as those of the Romish Church, 
and were pressed with almost as high a hand. The non-con- 
formists had been consequently obliged to leave the kingdom. 
Many of them fled to Ireland, and were advanced to influen- 
tial situations, both in the university and the church ; for 
provided they were removed out of England and Scotland, 
where they so frequently opposed his arbitrary measures, 
James cared little for their existence and influence in this re- 
mote and turbulent country. 

These exiles, in conjunction with the Scottish clergy, 
who had accompanied their countrymen in the late plan- 
tation of Ulster, and had been promoted to bishopricks 
and other ecclesiastical dignities, gave that tone to the 
religious sentiments of the kingdom, by which it was 
distinguished from the sister country.* 2 ** Their influence ap- 
peared in the proceedings of this first convocation, espe- 
cially in the Confession, which was evidently framed with the 
view of compromising the differences existing between the 
high-church clergy and the non-conformists. It was digested 
into no less than nineteen sections, and one hundred and four 

85 Peter Heylin, the celebrated champion of the English church, thus 
laments over the progress of puritanism at this period in Ireland ; while, 
at the same time, he unconsciously bears testimony to the exemplary care 
of the Presbyterians to maintain the public preaching of the Gospel wher- 
ever they settled. " Hereupon followed the plantation of Ulster, first un- 
dertaken by the city of London, who fortified Coleraine and built London- 
derry, and purchased many thousand acres of lands in the parts adjoining. 
But it was carried on more vigorously, as more unfortunately withal, by 
some adventurers of the Scottish nation, who poured themselves into this 
country as the richer soil : and, though they were sufficiently industrious in 
improving their own fortunes there, and set up preaching in all churches* 
wheresoever they fixed, yet whether it happened for the better or for the 
worse, the event bath showed. For they brought with them hither such a 
stock of puritanism, such a contempt of bishops, such a neglect of the 
public liturgy, and other divine offices of this church, that there was no- 
thing less to be found among them than the government and forms of wor- 
ship established in the church of England." Hist. Presb. p. 893. Col- 
lier's account (Ecc. Hist ii. 708.) is abridged from Heylin, and furnishes 
no additional particulars. 


articles or propositions. It is as decidedly Calvinistk in doe- 
trine as that which was subsequently compiled by the West- 
minster divines ; and includes, in almost the same words, the 
nine articles of Lambeth, which the English puritans had in 
vain requested to be adopted at the Hampton-court confer- 
ence in 1604. The morality of the Sabbath is strongly asserted, 
though a tenet well known to be at variance with the senti- 
ments of the king m — the validity of ordination by Presbyters 
is clearly implied — the doctrine of absolution is condemned, 
and the forgiveness of sins by the clergy taught to be only 
declaratory — lent is disclaimed as a religious fast, and the 
Pope is unhesitatingly pronounced to be Antichrist,** 7 * — all 
which tenets were then characteristic of the puritan party in 
the church, and eagerly defended by them in opposition to 
the high-church clergy. At the same time no authority 
is claimed for framing or enforcing ecclesiastical canons, or 
decreeing rites and ceremonies, and no allusion is made to the 
mode of consecrating the higher orders of the clergy ; as if on 
purpose to avoid maintaining that distinction between bishops 
and presbyters, which was so much opposed by the non-con- 
formists. And the confession is summed up by a decree of 
the Synod, forbidding the public teaching of any doctrine 
contrary to the articles now solemnly agreed upon.** 6 * On 

* Leland, in noticing this peculiarity in the Irish article*, seems to re- 
gret that the opinions of the king, in reference to the Sabbath, had not 
been treated with more respect by Ussher. His word are, " And without 
any condescension to the sentiments of king James, he declared in one ar- 
ticle that the Lord's day was to be wholly dedicated to the service of 
God." Hist ii. 459. This looks very like making the king something 
more than the mere civil head of the church. In the view of the reverend 
historian, the professor of divinity ought, out of pure condescension, to have 
adapted his religious sentiments more closely to those of his royal master ! 

*7 Heylin in his Hist. Presb. p. 394, thus speaks of this article, " the 
Pope was made to be antichrist, according to the like determination of the 
French Hugonots at Oappe, in Dauphiny." This Synod was held in Oc- 
tober, 1603. Quick, i. 227. 

98 The reader may see these articles in the Appendix to Neal'e History 
of the Puritans, (No. 6.) where they are fully, and I may add, correctly 


this comprehensive foundation the Irish church was formally 
settled. Its terms of communion Were limited only in respect 
of doctrine, a subject on which there then existed almost uni- 
versal conformity throughout the three kingdoms. It embraced 
all the faithful ministers of the gospel who coincided in their 
views of divine truth ; neither compelling them to submit to 
objectionable ceremonies, nor unchurching them at once if 
they could not conscientiously approve of all the minute ar- 
rangements of government and worship then established in 
England. This spirit of mutual forbearance was no less 
agreeable to scripture than it was happily adapted to the ex- 
isting state of the kingdom ; for the country was involved in 
such ignorance and viewed with such aversion, that it was ne- 
cessary to induce faithful ministers to settle in it, by afford- 
ing them every facility for the exercise of their office, what- 
ever might be their views respecting the controverted points 
of ecclesiastical discipline. 

Encouraged by the result of this convocation, many minis- 
ters removed to Ireland, and especially to Ulster, where they 
were likely to enjoy the greatest security, and where there ex- 
isted a more urgent necessity for their services. This pro- 
vince was now occupied by settlers, who were willing enough 
to receive and respect them when sent; but who were far 
from being generally characterized by a desire for enjoying 
religious ordinances. On the contrary, a great number of 
those who accompanied the original proprietors and who oc- 
cupied their lands, were openly profane and immoral in their 
conduct, and were generally inattentive to the sacred institu- 
tions of the Gospel. The following description of their con- 
duct and character, though probably a little overcharged, is 
given by Stewart : — " From Scotland," he says, " came 
many, and from England not a few ; yet all of them gene- 
rally the scum of both nations, who, from debt, or breaking 

given, having compared thein with an early copy in my possession, publish- 
ed by authority. Lond. 1629. 4to. 


and fleeing from justice, or seeking shelter, came hither, 
hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a land where 
there was nothing, or but little as yet, of the fear of God. 
And in a few years there flocked such a multitude of people 
from Scotland, that these northern counties of Down, Antrim, 
Londonderry, &c, were in a good measure planted, which 
had been waste before. Yet most of the people were all void 
of godliness, who seemed rather to flee from God in this en- 
terprise than to follow their own mercy. Yet God followed 
them when they fled from him. Albeit at first it must be 
remembered, that as they cared little for any church, so God 
seemed to care as little for them. For these strangers were 
no better entertained than with the relics of popery, served 
up in a ceremonial service of God under a sort of antichris- 
tian hierarchy, and committed to the care of a number of 
careless men, who were only zealous to call for their gain 
from their quarter ; men who said, ' come ye, I will bring 
wine, let us drink, for to-morrow shall be as this day, and 
much more abundant. 1 Thus on all hands atheism increased, 
and disregard of God, iniquity abounded with contention, 
fighting, murder, adultery, &c. as among people who, as they 
had nothing within them to overawe them, so their ministers' 
example was worse than nothing ; for, ' from the prophets' 
of Israel pro&neness went forth to the whole land.' And 
verily at this time the whole body of this people seemed ripe 
for the manifestation, in a great degree, either of God's judg- 
ments or mercy. For their carriage made them to be ab- 
horred at home in their native land, insomuch, that ' going 
for Ireland' was looked on as a miserable mark of a deplorable 
person. Yea, it was turned into a proverb ; and one of the 
worst expressions of disdain that could be invented was, to 
tell a man that ' Ireland would be his hinder end.' While 
thus it was, and when any man would have expected nothing 
but God's judgment to have followed this crew of sinners ; 
behold the Lord visited them in admirable mercy, the like 
whereof had not been any where for many generations." 

VOL. I. H 


This account is also confirmed by Blair, who sap : " Al- 
though amongst those whom divine providence did send to 
Ireland there were several persons eminent for birth, education, 
and parts ; yet the most part were such as either poverty, 
scandalous lives, or at the best, adventurous seeking of better 
accommodation had forced thither : so that the security and 
thriving of religion was little seen to by those adventurers* 
and the preachers were generally of the same complexion 
with the people." <*» 

The mercy, alluded to by Stewart, consisted in the band 
of faithful ministers who were now encouraged to take their 
lot in Ulster, and whose labours were remarkably blessed to 
the converting of many out of so profane and godless a mul- 
titude. Of these servants of God, a few are so eminently dis- 
tinguished by their zeal and fortitude, and are so frequently 
referred to as the founders of the Presbyterian Church in 
the province, that their history merits and demands especial 
notice. (30) 

Of these the first, in point of time, is Edward Brick, 
M. A. He had, for many years, been minister of Dry- 
men in Stirlingshire. But having, in the year 1607, re- 
solutely opposed the motion for making Spotiswood, arch- 
bishop of Glasgow, permanent moderator of the Synod of 
Clydesdale — the expedient then adopted for securing the in- 
troduction of prelacy into Scotland — he was marked out for 
persecution, and was shortly afterwards obliged to leave the 
kingdom. m) His views were naturally directed to Ireland, 
whither many of his countrymen had already resorted ; and 
among others William Edmonstone of Duntreath, in Stirling- 

» Blair's Life, p. 51. Edin. 1754. 

*> On this topic, some of my readers may concern that I hare gone into 
a minuteness of detail, more appropriate to the biographer than the histo- 
rian. But the novelty and interest of the subject encourage me to lay 
before the public all that I could glean respecting the settlement, character,, 
and fate of these fathers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. 

* Balfour's Annals, ii. 22. 


j, who in 1609 had settled in Broadisland, in the county 
of Antrim. Having been minister in his vicinity in Scot- 
land, and doubtless known to him there, Brice directed his 
steps to his former acquaintance ; and having been received 
and acknowledged by Echlin, bishop of Down and Connor — 
himself a Scotchman — he began, in the year 1613, to exer- 
cise his ministry in Broadisland, a district of Country lying 
between Lame and Carrickfergus. In September 1619, he 
was promoted by the bishop to be prebendary of Kilroot, but 
continued to officiate in his first settlement, which was part 
of the prebend. His new dignity, which was little more than 
nominal, did not tempt him to abate his zeal in the ministry, 
or renounce his former principles. Ten years afterwards, 
Livingston thus describes him : — " He was an aged man ere 
I knew him, and came not much abroad. In all his preach- 
ing he insisted most on the life of Christ in the heart, and 
the light of his word and Spirit on the mind ; that being his 
own continual exercise." <**> 

In the adjoining parish of Carrickfergus, Mb. Hubbabd, 
a puritan minister from England, was settled. He was epis- 
copally ordained ; but he had forsaken the communion of the 
English Church, atid taken charge of a non-conforming con- 
gregation at Southwark, London. In this situation, being 
much oppressed by the intolerant measures of that period, 
both he and his people resolved to remove to Ireland. Hav- 
ing been, under the Celebrated Cartwright, a fellow-pupil of 
Sir Arthur Chichester at Cambridge, and having apprised 
him of his determination, he was invited by Sir Arthur to 
Carrickfergus, where he and the members of his congregation 
who accompanied him, were peaceably settled about the year 
1091. Blair speaks of him " as an able, gracious man ;" 
but he was not long spared to the church. He died in the 

**LW ingston's Life, p. 78, 18mo. Edin. 1754. This valuable little 
work wm originally printed in quarto in the year 1727. I have a copy of 
this edition, but my references are to the former, as being mora generally 


beginning of the year 1623, scarcely two years after his re- 
moval ; and his people, having lost their pastor, returned to 
their native country, and settled again in the vicinity of 
London. (33) 

Shortly after the death of Hubbard, Jambs Glendinning, 
A. M. is noticed as residing and lecturing in Carrickfergus. 
He was a native of Scotland, and was educated at St. Leo- 
nard's college, in St. Andrews ; but at an early period he 
had removed to Ireland. In the visitation book of the diocese 
of Down and Connor in 1622, he is returned as incumbent of 
the adjoining parish of Coole or Carnmoney, and as serving 
the cure there ; though, at the same time, the parish church is 
described as being in ruins. <3A) It is probable, therefore, that 
he resided altogether at Carrickfergus, in the capacity of 
lecturer — an office now almost wholly laid aside in the estab- 
lished church in Ireland : at all events he continued to preach 
here with great applause for several years. 

At Antrim was settled John Ridge, A. M. a native of 
England. On the sixth of March 1611, he had been ad- 
mitted to the order of deacon by the bishop of Oxford ; but 
having no freedom for the exercise of his ministry in England, 
without submitting to impositions which were contrary to his. 
conscience, he removed to this country, and was admitted on 
the seventh of July 1619, to the vicarage of Antrim, on the 
presentation of Sir Arthur, now Lord Chichester, being 
another of those eminent ministers patronized by that pious 
and public-spirited nobleman. Blair styles him, " the judi- 
cious and gracious minister of Antrim ;" and Livingston says 
of him, " he used not to have many points in his sermon ; 
but he so enlarged those he had, that it was scarcely possible 
for any hearer to forget his preaching. He was a great urger 
of charitable works, and a very humble man." 

Contemporary with these ministers, there were others in 

38 Brooke's Lives of the Puritans, iii. 517. Wilson's Dissenting! 
Churches in London, iv. 124. 
* Ulster Visitation Book, MSS. E. 3. 6. Trin. OIL Dub. 

A.O. 1623. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 101 

the county of Down equally distinguished for their piety and 
seal. The first settled there was Robert Cunningham, 
A. M. He had been chaplain to the Earl of Buccleugh's 
regiment in Holland ; but removing to Ireland on the return 
of the troops to Scotland, he was, on the ninth of November 
1615, admitted to the ministry by bishop Echlin. He is 
returned on the diocesan roll in 1622, as curate of Holy wood 
-and Craigavad, and as maintained in this office by a stipend 
from Sir James Hamilton, now Lord Claneboy. ** To my 
discerning," says Livingston, « he was the one man who 
most resembled the meekness of Jesus Christ in all his car- 
riage that ever I saw, and was so far reverenced of all, even 
by the wicked, that he was oft troubled with that scripture, 
* Wo to you when all men speak well of you !' " 

In the neighbouring parish of Bangor was soon after settled 
the celebrated Robert Blair. He had been a regent or 
professor in the college of Glasgow ; but being much opposed 
by Dr. Cameron, — who had been appointed principal with the 
view of bringing the college to approve of prelacy, — he re- 
signed his situation ; and being invited over by Lord Clane- 
boy, he came to Ireland in May 1623. He thus narrates 
the circumstances of his settlement at Bangor. " When I 
landed in Ireland, some men parting from their cups and all 
things smelling of a root called rampions, (35) my prejudice 
was confirmed against that land. But next day travelling 
towards Bangor, I met unexpectedly with so sweet a peace 
and so great a joy, as I behoved to look thereon as my wel- 
come thither ; and retiring to a private place about a mile 
above Craigfergus, I prostrated myself upon the grass to re- 
joice in the Lord, who proved the same to me in Ireland 
which he had been in Scotland. Nevertheless, my aversion 
to a settlement there continued strong ; and when my noble 
patron renewed his invitation and offer, I was very careful to 

* This is the AUium Ursuntm, a species of wild Garlic I have found , 
it growing in the vicinity of Carrickfergus. 


inform him both of what accusations had been laid against 
me of disaffection to the civil powers, and that I could not 
submit to the use of the English liturgy nor episcopal govern- 
ment, to see if either of these would prevail with him to pass 
from his invitation. But he having been informed by a 
minister present of my altercations with Dr. Cameron, he 
said, < I know all that business ;' and for the other point, he 
added, that he was confident of procuring a free entry for me, 
which he quickly effectuated. So all my devices to obstruct 
a settlement there did evanish and took no effect, the counsel 
of the Lord standing fast in all generations ; yea, his wisdom 
overruled all this, both to procure me a free and safe entry to 
the holy ministry ; and that when after some years I met 
with trials for my non-conformity, neither patron nor prelate 
could say that I had broken any condition to them. 

" Having been invited to preach by the patron, and by Mr. 
Gibson, the sick incumbent, [the first protestant dean of 
Down, but resident at Bangor,] I yielded to their invitation, 
and preached there three Sabbath-days. After that, several of 
the aged and most respectful persons in the congregation came 
to me by order of the whole, and informed me, that they were 
edified by the doctrine delivered by me ; untreated me not to 
leave them ; and promised, if the patron's offer of main- 
tenance was not large enough, they would willingly add to 
the same. This promise I slighted, being too careless of 
competent and comfortable provision, for I had no thoughts 
of any greater family than a boy or two to serve me. But on 
the former part of that speech importing the congregation's 
call, I laid great weight ; and it did contribute more to the 
removing of my unwillingness to settle there than any thing 
else. Likewise the dying man, [Gibson,] did several ways 
encourage me. He professed great sorrow for his having been 
a dean. He condemned episcopacy more strongly than ever 
I durst do ; he charged me in the name of Christ, and as I 
expected his blessing on my ministry, not to leave that good 
way wherein I had begun to walk ; and then drawing my 

A.D. 1623. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 103 

head towards his bosom with both his arras, he laid his hands 
on my head and blessed me. (36) Within a few days after he 
died; and my admission was accomplished as quickly as 
might be, in the following way. The Viscount Claneboy, my 
noble patron, did, on my request, inform the bishop, <*> how 
opposite I was to episcopacy and their liturgy, and had the 
influence to procure my admission on easy and honourable 
terms. Yet, lest his lordship had not been plain enough, I 
declared my opinion fully to the bishop at our first meeting, 
and found him yielding beyond my expectation. The huhop 
said to me, « I hear good of you, and will impose no con- 
ditions on you ; I am old and can teach you ceremonies, 
and you can teach me substance, only I must ordain you, 
else neither I nor you can answer the law nor brook the land/ 
J answered him, that his sole ordination did utterly contra- 
dict my principles ; but he replied both wittily and submis- 

36 The following account of this interview is given by Robert Fleming 
in his " Fulfilling of the Scripture," vol. i. p. 435. Mr. Blair " found the 
dean was lying sick, and though a most naughty man, he made him not only 
welcome upon his visit, but encouraged him to hold on his way, and told 
him he was to succeed him in that charge. Yea, he spoke so unlike him- 
self, and in a strain so different from what was usual unto him, that a 
gentlewoman standing by said to some others — ' An angel is speaking out 
of the dean's bed to Mr. Blair,* thinking it could not be such a man."-— 
I subjoin a copy of his epitaph, constructed, perhaps, on the well-known 
principle, * D* mortuis nil nisi bonum,' — " Heir lyes beloue ane learned and 
reverend Father in Gode's church, mester John Gibson, sence reformacione 
from Popary, the firest deane of Down, send by his maiestie into this king- 
dom, and receved by my Lord Claneboy to be preacher at Bangor. At 
Iris entry had XL communicants ; and at his departour this lyf 23 of Junii 
leSS, left 1200 ; being of age 63 years. So Chyrst was bis advantage 
bothe in lyf and death." 

*7 Stevenson, the editor of Blair's Life, has here erroneously inserted ia 
the printed copy (p. 52,) the name of Knox, bishop of Raphoe, as the 
person to whom Blair applied for ordination. No name is given in the 
original MS. in Blair's hand- writing, which I examined in the Library 
of the Writers to the Signet, Edinburgh. It was manifestly Echlin of 
Down, as appears not only from the context, but also from the entry on the 
diocesan roll of 1633, in which Blair is set forth as having been ordained 
by this prelate. 


sively, ( whatever you account of episcopacy, yet I know yon 
account a presbytery to have divine warrant ; will you not 
receive ordination from Mr. Cunningham and the adjacent 
brethren, and let me come in among them in no other rela- 
tion than a presbyter ?' This I could not refuse, and so the 
matter was performed"— on the tenth of July 1623. 

Blair was one of the most eminent ministers at this time 
in Ireland, and contributed, more than any other, to the re- 
vival and establishment of true religion in the province. 
" He was a man, 11 says Livingston who knew him intimately, 
" of notable constitution both of body and mind ; of a ma- 
jestic, awful, yet affable and amiable countenance and car- 
riage, thoroughly learned, of strong parts, deep invention, 
solid judgment, and of a most public spirit for God. His 
gift of preaching was such, that seldom could any observe 
withdrawing of assistance in public, which in others is fre- 
quent. He seldom ever wanted assurance of his salvation. 
He spent many days and nights in prayer alone and with 
others, and was vouchsafed great intimacy with God." 

Shortly after his settlement at Bangor, he was the means 
of inducing another minister to devote himself to the service 
of the church. This was James Hamilton, nephew to 
Lord Claneboy, who, though educated for the ministry in 
Scotland, had as yet held only the situation of steward or 
agent to his uncle. Mr. Blair, perceiving his learning and 
growing piety, proposed to him to enter the ministry, and, 
in conjunction with Mr. Cunningham, made private trial of 
his endowments. " Being satisfied with his gifts," continues 
Blair, " I invited him to preach in my pulpit, in his uncle's 
hearing, who, till then, knew nothing of this matter. For 
Mr. Hamilton having been his uncle's chamberlain, and 
chief manager of his affairs, we were afraid the viscount 
would not part with so faithful a servant. But he, having 
once heard his nephew, did put more respect upon him than 
ever before. Shortly thereafter, [about the year 1625,] Mr. 
Hamilton was ordained [by bishop Echlin] to the holy 

A. D. 1685. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 105 

ministry at Ballywalter, where he was both diligent and 
successful. And notwithstanding he had many temptations 
to espouse episcopacy, and might easily have obtained pro- 
motion in that way, yet the Lord did graciously preserve 
him from being ensnared with those baits, and made him 
very instrumental in promoting his work." Livingston de- 
scribes him " as a learned and diligent man ;" and adds, 
that " his gift of preaching was rather doctrinal than exhor- 

These seven brethren constituted the first band of ministers 
who laboured with apostolic earnestness to remove the igno- 
rance, formality, and profaneness which characterised the 
greater part of the early colonists. Possessed of the true 
missionary spirit, and inspired with a holy zeal to propagate 
the Gospel, they commenced with vigour the work of evan- 
gelizing the land ; and though few in number and beset with 
many difficulties, they were favoured with an extraordinary, 
if not unprecedented, measure of success. 



Revival of reHgion— Circu m stances which occasioned it — Establishment of a 
monthly meeting at Antrim — Arrival of additional ministers from Scotland- 
Welsh — Stewart— Dunbar — Cohort — Livingston— 'Notices of MacOeU 
land and Semple— Their labours and success— Their maintenance of 
the Presbyterian worship and discipline—Monthly meetings mi Antrim ■ 
Influence m promoting the revival of religion— Testimonies respecting 
its extent and reality — Difficulties it encountered — General non conformity 
of the northern clergy — Jealousy of bishop Echhn — His insidious opposi- 
tion to Blair.— Is defeated— Afterwards suspends two ministers. — They 
apply to Archbishop Ussier and are restored — EchUn ogam silences Jour 
ministers — Blair goes to London— Applies far relief to Charles L— 
Their case referred to the lord deputy of Ireland — who refuses to relieve 

It was not long before the zealous labours of the ministers, 
whose names are recorded in the preceding chapter, began to 
be visibly blessed. A remarkable improvement in the habits 
and demeanour of the people was speedily effected. The 
thoughtless were roused to serious inquiry on the subject of 
religion, and the careless were alarmed, and at the same time 
urged to anxious self-examination. The profane were, in a great 
measure, silenced, and the immoral reclaimed ; while the obsti- 
nate opposers of the Gospel were converted into its willing and 
decided supporters. The revival of religion which occurred at 
this period subsequently attracted considerable attention both in 
Scotland and in England. The fame of it extended even to 
America, and it has been repeatedly referred to by religious 
writers of the last century, as one of those sudden and exten- 
sive manifestations of the power of divine grace upon a care- 

A.D. 1695. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 107 

less people, with which the church has been occasionally fa- 

This spirit of religious inquiry and reformation, which in 
a short time pervaded a considerable portion of the counties 
of Down and Antrim, was no doubt the natural, as it is the 
promised, result of that devotedness and fidelity by which the 
Presbyterian ministers in this part of Ulster were so eminent- 
ly distinguished. Yet it appears to have first manifested 
itself under the ministry of the weakest of these brethren, 
whose limited attainments and ill-regulated zeal were pro- 
videntially over-ruled ' for the furtherance of the Gospel.' 

The singular circumstances connected with the origin 
of this religious revival, the first important incident occur- 
ring in the history of the Presbyterian church in Ulster, 
deserve to be noticed, and are thus fully narrated by Stewart. 
" Mr. Blair coming over from Bangor to Carrickfergus on 
some business, and occasionally hearing Mr. Glendinning to 
preach, perceived some sparkles of good inclination in him, 
yet found him not solid but weak, and not fitted for a public 
place and among the English. On which Mr. Blair did 
call him, and using freedom with him, advised him to go to 
some place in the country among his countrymen : whereupon 
he went to Oldstone [near the town of Antrim] and was 
these placed. He was a man who would never have been 
chosen by a wise assembly of ministers, nor sent to begin a 
reformation in this land. For he was little better than dis- 
tracted ; yea, afterwards, did actually become so. Yet this 
was the Lord's choice to begin with him the admirable work 
of God ; which I mention on purpose that all men may see 
how the glory is only the Lord's in making a holy nation in 
this profane land, and that it was < not by might, nor by 
power, nor by man's wisdom, but by my Spirit, saith the 
Lord.' At Oldstone God made use of him to awaken the 
consciences of a lewd and secure people thereabouts. For 
seeing the great lewdness and ungodly sinfulness of the 
people, he preached to them nothing but law-wrath, and the 


terrors of God for sin. And in very deed for this only was 
he fitted, for hardly could he preach any other thing. But 
behold the success ! For the hearers finding themselves con- 
demned by the mouth of God speaking in his word, fell into 
such anxiety and terror of conscience that they looked on 
themselves as altogether lost and damned ; and this work ap- 
peared not in one single person or two, but multitudes were 
brought to understand their way, and to cry out, men and 
brethren, what shall we do to be saved ? I have seen them 
myself stricken into a swoon with the word; yea, a dozen 
in one day carried out of doors as dead ; so marvellous was 
the power of God smiting their hearts for sin, condemning 
and killing. And of these were none of the weaker sex or 
spirit, but indeed some of the boldest spirits who formerly 
feared not with their swords to put a whole market-town in a 
fray ; yet in defence of their stubbornness cared not to lie in 
prison and in the stocks; and being incorrigible, were as 
ready to do the like the next day. I have heard one of them, 
then a mighty strong man, now a mighty Christian, say that 
his end in coming to church was to consult with his compa- 
nions how to work some mischief. And yet at one of those 
sermons was he so catched, that he was fully subdued. But 
why do I speak of him ? We knew, and yet know, multi- 
tudes of such men who sinned and still gloried in it, because 
they feared no man, yet are now patterns of sobriety, fearing 
to sin because they fear God. And this spread through the 
country to admiration, especially about that river, commonly 
called the Six-mile-water, (1) for there this work began at first. 
At this time of people's gathering to Christ, it pleased the 
Lord to visit mercifully the honourable family in Antrim,^ 

1 This river runs past the towns of Ballynure, Ballyclare, and Temple- 
petrick, and empties itself into Lough Neagh at Antrim. 

8 Blair also notices this eminent family. " At Antrim, Sir Hugh Clot- 
worthy was very hospitable to the ministers who took part in that work ; 
and his worthy son, the first Lord Massareene, with his mother and spouse, 
both of them very virtuous and religious ladies, did greatly countenance the 

A.D. 1625. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 109 

so as Sir John Clotworthy, and my lady his mother, and his 
own precious lady, did shine in an eminent manner in re- 
ceiving the Gospel, and offering themselves to the Lord ; 
whose example instantly other gentlemen followed, such aa 
Captain Norton (3) and others, of whom the Gospel made a 
clear and cleanly conquest. 11 

These religious agitations continued for a considerable 
time. The ministers were indefatigable in improving the 
favourable opportunities thus afforded for extending the 
knowledge and influence of the Gospel. The people, awaken- 
ed and inquiring, many of them desponding and alarmed, 
both desired and needed guidance and instruction. . The ju- 
dicious exhibition of evangelical doctrines and promises by 
these faithful men was, in due time, productive of those 
happy and tranquillizing effects which were early predicted as 
the characteristics of Gospel-times. Adopting the beautiful 
imagery of the prophets, — the broken-hearted were bound 
up and comforted ; the spirit of bondage and of fear gave 

nme." Sir Hugh, here mentioned, was the first of this family who settled in 
Ireland. He was here in 1603, and died at Antrim in February 1680 His 
wife was Mary, daughter of Roger Langford, Esq. of Muckamore. He left 
an only daughter, Mary, married in 1628 to Captain Henry Upton, of 
Templepatrick ; and a younger son, James, who was settled at Moneyraere 
in the county of Deny. His eldest son was John, whose ' spouse ' wa» 
Margaret, daughter to Lord Ranelagh, and who became the first Viscount 
Massareene. The reader will find him, as Sir John Clotworthy, frequent- 
ly mentioned in these pages, and uniformly distinguished, through the most 
trying times, for his ardent attachment to Presbyterianism and the cause of 
civil liberty. The student of English history will also be familiar with 
his name and character, as a prominent member of the Long Parliament. 
Lord Viscount Ferrard is the present representative of this ancient fa- 
mily, and the title of Lord Massareene, having been for some time dormant, 
is once more revived in his eldest son. 

3 Captain Humphrey Norton was settled at Templepatrick. His 
daughter, probably his only child, having displeased him by an imprudent 
marriage, he sold his estate to Captain Henry Upton, son-in-law to Sir 
Hugh Clotworthy, who became the founder of a family, now ennobled by 
the title of Viscount Templetown, who long continued to be the generous 

and ardent patrons of the Presbyterian interest in Ulster. 



wajr to a spirit of freedom and of lore ; the oil of joy was 
poured forth instead of mourning ; and the spirit of heaviness 
exchanged for the garment of praise and thankfulness. As 
the people emerged from the anxiety and alarm produced by 
die stern preaching of the law, and gradually experienced the 
hope and joy of the Gospel, they would be naturally led to 
maintain among themselves a closer religious fellowship than 
they had done in their previous state of unconcern. This 
proved to be the case. In addition to the stated exercises of 
the 8abbath, a day which they strictly observed, they as* 
sembled for devotional purposes at other special seasons. 
Hence originated those monthly meetings at Antrim, which 
afterwards attracted so much attention, and which, in the 
mean time, tended materially to strengthen and consolidate 
the good work that had commenced. Stewart, in the last 
portion of his narrative which has been preserved, thus details 
the origin of these meetings. 

" When, therefore, the multitude of wounded consciences 
were healed, they began to draw into holy communion and 
meeting together privately for edification, a thing which in a 
lifeless generation is both neglected and reproved. But the 
new life forced it among the people, who desired to know what 
God was doing with the souls of their neighbours, who, they 
perceived, were wrought on in spirit, as they had been. 
There was a man in the parish of Oldstone, called Hugh 
Campbell, who had fled from Scotland ; him God caught in 
Ireland, and made him an eminent and exemplary Christian 
until this day. He was a gentleman of the house of Duket- 
hall. (4) After this man was healed of the wound given to 
his soul by the Almighty, he became very refreshful to others 
who had less learning and judgment than himself. He 
therefore invited some of his honest neighbours who fought 
the same fight of faith, to meet him at his house on the last 
Friday of the month ; where and when, beginning with a few, 

4 The reader will find him again mentioned in chapter v. 


they spent their time in prayer, mutual edification and con* 
ference on what they found within them : Nothing like tilt 
superficial superfluous meetings of some cold-hearted profes- 
sors, who afterwards made this work a snare to many. But 
these new beginners were more filled with heart-exercise than 
head-notions, and with fervent prayer rather than conceity 
gifts to fill the head. As these truly increased, so did this 
meeting for private edification increase too ; and still at Hugh 
Campbeirs house, on the last Friday of the month. At last 
they grew so numerous, that the ministers who had begotten 
them again to Christ, thought fit that some of them should 
be still with them to prevent what hurt might follow."— 
" Accordingly," says Blair, who fortunately carries on the 
narrative from this period, at which that of Stewart abruptly 
terminates, " Mr. John Ridge, the judicious and gracious 
minister of Antrim, perceiving many people on both sides of 
the Six-mile-water awakened out of their security, made 
an overture that a monthly meeting might be set up at An* 
trim, which was within a mile of Oldstone, and lay centrical 
for the awakened persons to resort to, and he invited Mn 
Cunningham, Mr. Hamilton and myself to take part in that 
work, who were all glad of the motion, and heartily embraced 
it Mr. Olendinning was also at the first glad of the ea&f- 
fluence of the people. But we not having invited him to 
bear a part in the monthly meeting, he became so emulous^ 
that to preserve popular applause, he watched and fasted 
wonderfully. Afterward he was smitten with a number of 
erroneous and enthusiastic opinions— and embracing one 
error after another, he set out at last on a visit to the seven 
churches of Asia." 

The removal of this minister was no loss to the cause of 
religion, although he had happily been made the instrument 
of awakening many to a sense of its supreme importance. 
Had there not been judicious ministers at hand able to con- 
trol and improve the agitations and alarms which he excited, 
and to warn the weak of his errors, the good work might have 


been disgraced and overthrown, and formality and indiffer- 
ence might have resumed their fatal influence over the 
people. His place was soon after supplied by equally zeal- 
ous, though more prudent and faithful brethren from Scot- 
land ; who, hearing of this great revival of religion and of 
the freedom with which they would be permitted to exercise 
their ministry, willingly removed hither, and became valuable 
fellow-workers with their brethren in extending the influence 
of the gospel and in promoting the interests of the church of 
Christ in Ulster. 

The first of these was Josias Welsh, son of the celebrated 
John Welsh, minister of Ayr, and consequently grandson to 
John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, by Elizabeth, his third 
daughter. He was educated at Geneva, and on his return 
to his native country was appointed professor of humanity in 
the university of Glasgow. This situation he filled until 
the same cause which had driven Mr. Blair from the college, 
—the introduction of prelacy under Dr. Cameron, — soon after 
compelled him also to resign his chair. " A great measure 
of that spirit," says Blair, " which wrought in and by the 
father rested on the son. The last time I had been in Scot- 
land I met with him, and finding of how zealous a spirit he 
was, I exhorted him to hasten over to Ireland, where he 
would find work enough, and I hoped success too." He ac- 
cordingly came over about the year 1626, and took up his 
residence with Mr. Shaw, a gentleman from Ayrshire, who 
had been probably known to his father, and who was now 
settled near Templepatrick on the opposite side of the Six- 
mile-water. Welsh preached for a time at Oldstone, vacant 
by the departure of Glendinning ; and having been ordained by 
his kinsman Knox, bishop of Raphoe,* 9 * he was soon after 

6 Bishop Knox was of the same family with the Reformer Knox ; con- 
sequently Welsh was his relative. The bishop was educated at Glasgow ; 
(M'Ure'8 Glas. last ed. p. 197,) and was minister, first at Lochwinnoch and 
then at Paisley. On the second of April 1606, he was made bishop of the 
Isles by King James, where he was distinguished for bis attention to the 

A.D. 1627. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 113 

settled at Templepatrick as chaplain to Captain Norton. 
" Here," writes Livingston, " he had many seals to his mi- 
nistry. He was much exercised in his own spirit, and there- 
fore much of his preaching was an exercise of conscience." 
" He did with great eagerness," adds Blair, " convince the 
secure and sweetly comfort those that were dejected." 

After him came over Andrew Stewart in the year 1627* 
He succeeded John Stirling, A. M. as minister of Donegore, 
a parish adjoining both Templepatrick and Antrim. Ac- 
cording to Livingston, " he was a man very streight in the 
cause of God ;" and Blair styles him, " a learned gentleman 
and fervent in spirit, and a very successful minister of the 
word of God." 

The next who followed from Scotland was George Dun- 
bar, A. M. He had been, for a length of time, minister of 
Ayr, and had been twice ejected in Scotland by the High 
commission court for his resolute attachment to the. presbyr 
lerian cause which James I. was then labouring to subvert. 
" When the messenger [of the court] came to his house [at 
Ayr] the second time, a young daughter of his turning said, 
* and is Pharaoh's heart hardened still ?' while all that Mr, 
George said was to his wife to provide the creels again. 
For the former time, the children being young, they be- 
hoved to carry them away in creels upon horseback."— 

propagation of religion. Keith's Scott Bish. p. 308. When in this see 
be appears to have enjoyed a pension from the king of L.100 per ftnnum, 
as 1 find this pension withdrawn in May 1620, when he was probably on 
the eve of being removed to Ireland. Rym. Fsed. vol. vii. part 3, p. 147. 
He was translated to the see of Raphoe in 1622, where he died on the 
7th of November 1632. Ware's Bishops. I may add that both the bishop 
and the reformer were of the house of Ranfurly in Renfrewshire, a title 
which now appears in the British peerage, as borne by the family of Knox 
of Dangannon in the county of Tyrone, who are descended from Afarcua 
Knox, of the family of Selbiland and of Ranfurly, a zealous merchant in 
Glasgow at the period of the Reformation, and the donor of the great bell 
in the high-church, which still bears his name. The representative of thi* 
family was first ennobled by the title of Viscount Northland, which haa 
been recently exchanged for the higher dignity of Earl of Ranfurly. 
VOL. I. I 


" He was,*" says Stewart, " for a long time prisoner at 
Blackness; but being released from this confinement, he 
was banished by order of the privy-council, arid soon after 
came to Ireland. He first preached at Camckfergus [after 
the removal of Glendinning ;] but having no entertainment 
there, he staid a while at Ballymena and then came to Inver 
or Larue ; by whose means all that country heard die word 
and were first gathered to the Lord." He ultimately settled 
at Lame* where he proved a most diligent minister. 

His congregation participated in that awakening spirit 
of religion which had already manifested its striking effects 
in the vicinity of Antrim. The good old man having wit- 
nessed some of its fruits in that quarter, had one day iri 
his sermon at home been " regretting with great grief that 
he thought none of his people had gotten good by his mi- 
nistry ; when one Robert Brown rose and said before them 
all that he had gotten good. So, after that, there appeared 
a blessed change wrought on him and several others." Among 
these, the singular case of Andrew Brown, as related by 
Livingston, deserves to be specified. " He was born deaf 
and dumb, and had been a very vicious, loose man. But 
when it pleased the Lord to work a change on several of that 
parish of Lame, a very sensible change was observed in him, 
not only in forsaking his former loose courses and company, 
but in joining himself to religious people, and all the exer- 
cises of God's worship in public and private. He ordinarily, 
morning and evening, used to go alone to prayer, and would 
weep at sermons ; and by such signs those who were acquaint* 
ed with him understood that he would express many things 
of the work of God upon his heart. So that upon his earnest 
desire and by the consent of all the ministers who used to 
meat at Antrim, he was at last admitted to the ordinance of 
the Lord's supper." As if to try the truth and reality of 
these changes of character, there were several persons, in this 
and the adjoining parish of Broadialand, who were affected 
with violent breathings and convulsions, especially during 

A.D. 1629. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 115 

public worship ; and who considered these questionable symp- 
toms as evidences of the work of ttie Spirit. But the pru- 
dence and discernment of Brice and Dunbar soon detected 
the imposition, and thus rescued the cause of religion from 
contempt and dishonour. << When they conferred with these 
persons, they did neither discover any sense of their sinful 
state nor any panting after a Saviour. Yet not content with 
<his trial, the minister of the place wrote to his brethren in- 
viting them to come and examine the matter ; and when we 
came and had conferred with them, we perceived it to be a 
mere delusion and cheat of the destroyer to slander and dis- 
grace the work of the Lord." <*> 

Shortly after Mr. Dunbar, Henry Colwort or Calvert 
entered on the ministry in Ireland. He was a native of 
England, and had been ordained by Knox bishop of Raphoe 
oh the fourth of May 1629. He was for some time assistant 
to Mr. Brice at Broadisland ; but in a short time he removed' 
to Oldstone or Muckamore, having been, on the presenta- 
tion of Roger Langford, Esq., admitted to this parish on the 
seventeenth of June 1630. " This able minister,* says Blair, 
<c being of a fervent spirit and vehement delivery in preach- 
ing, and withal very diligent, was a blessing to that people :** 
and Livingston speaks of him as one " who very pertinently 
cited much scripture in his sermons, and frequently urged 
private fasting and prayer. 4 " 

Lastly, John Livingston, A.M. was encouraged to re- 
sume the ministry in Ireland. He had been assistant to the 7 
minister of Torphichen in Scotland ; but in consequence of his 
opposition to prelacy, he was silenced by Spotiswood, arch- 
bishop of St. Andrews, in the year 1627* He continued to 
preach, however, occasionally and by stealth, and calls from 
several parishes were presented to him ; but his settlement 
was invariably obstructed by the bishops. At length an op- 
portunity offered for removing to Ireland, the circumstances 

« Blair, p. 73. 


of which he thus narrates: "In summer 1630, being in 
Irvine, Mr. Robert Cunningham, minister at Holywood in 
Ireland, and some while before that, Mr. George Dunbar, 
minister of Lame in Ireland, propounded to me, seeing there 
was no appearance I could enter into the ministry in Scot- 
land, whether or not I would be content to go to Ireland ? 
I answered them both, if I got a clear call and a free entry I 
would not refuse. About August 1630, I got letters from 
the Viscount Clanniboy to come to Ireland, in reference to a 
call to Killinchy ; whither I went and got an unanimous call 
from the parish. And because it was needful that I should 
be ordained to the ministry, and the bishop of Down, in 
whose diocese Killinchy was, being a corrupt humorous ^ 
man, and would require some engagement ; therefore my Lord 
Clanniboy sent some with me and wrote to Mr. Andrew 
Knox, bishop of Rapho ; who when I came and had deliver- 
ed the letters from my Lord Clanniboy, and from the Earl 
of Wigton and some others, that I had for that purpose 
brought out of Scotland, told me he knew my errand ; that 
I came to him because 1 had scruples against episcopacy and 
ceremonies, according as Mr. Josias Welsh and some others 
had done before ; and that he thought his old age was pro- 
longed for little other purpose but to do such offices : That if 
I scrupled to call him ' my Lord/ he cared not much for it ; 
all he would desire of me, because they got there but few ser- 
mons, that 1 would preach at Ramallen w the first Sabbath, 
and that he would send for Mr. William Cunningham (9> and 

7 This is "timorous" in the edition of 1727, which is evidently a more 
correct and appropriate epithet than " humorous." 

8 This was RamuUen, on the northern side of Lough Swilly, where the 
bishop resided in preference to Raphoe, probably on account of the protec- 
tion afforded by the castle and garrison there. I find his Report for the 
diocese of Raphoe, dated from the same place so early as the 31st of May 
1622. Ulster Visitation Book, MSS. Triiu Coll. Dublin. The family 
of Knox of Prehen, near Deny, still hold considerable property at Ramul- 
lan, and are probably descendants of this bishop. 

• This Mr. William Cunningham I find was minister of the parishes of 
TuUaghfernan, (now Tully,) and of Gartan in the diocese of Raphoe. The 

A.D. 1630. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 117 

two or three other neighbouring ministers to be present, who 
after sermon should give me imposition of hands ; but altho** 
they performed the work, he behoved to be present ; and al- 
tho' he durst not answer it to the state, he gave me the book 

former pariah has been united to that of Aughnish, and is known by the 
name of Tully-aughnish, the parish church of which is now situated at 
Ramelton, within four miles of Ramullan, where the bishop resided. But 
at the period mentioned in the text, the church of Tully was M ruined and 
decayed ;" while that of Aughnish, then called " Athinish," and held by 
another minister, Mr. William Patton, is described by the bishop in his 
Report of 1622, as " being in former times built in an island in an arm of 
the sea called Lough- S willy, and therefore inaccessible but by water. It 
is fitting," he adds, u to be transported to Ramelton, where Sir William 
Stewart, Knt, hath built a fair castle and made a -plantation of an hundred 
aad more British houses, being in the midst of said parish." This was ac- 
cordingly done, and it became the parish church for both Augnish and 
Tully. The bishop in his Report, already mentioned, gives the following 
account of Mr. Cunningham and of the glebe allotted to Tully. " Mr. 
Wm. Connyngham, M. A., — a good scholar and preacher of God's word, 
And of godly and unspotted life and conversation. The glebe granted by 
his Majesty to this church is half a quarter of Ballyare, where there is a good 
sufficient house builded for the incumbent ; together with two half-quar- 
ters, Larmado and Clandidall." Mr. Wm. Patton, M. A., the minister of 
Augnish, was at the same time incumbent of Ray, near Letterkenney, 
where he resided. He occasionally visited Ramelton, but had no other 
curate there than " Brian O'Downey, a converted priest." — Sir William 
Stewart, mentioned by the bishop, first obtained lands here in November 
1610. They formed part of the forfeited estate of O'Donneli, of which Sir 
Richard Hansard was the first patentee. In 1618, according to Pynnar, Sir 
William had erected at Ramelton, " a large and strong tower 80 feet square, 
16 feet high, with four flankers ; and a fair strong castle, being three stories 
and a half high ; and had made a large town consisting of 45 houses, in which 
there are 57 families, all British, (t. e. English or Scotch.) He hath also 
begun a church of lime and stone, which is built to the setting on of the 
roof, There is also a water-mill for corn. It is a market town, and 
atandeth very well for the good of the country and the king's service." 
Ramelton and its church were burned and pillaged by the Roman Catho* 
lies in the beginning of the rebellion of 1641 ; but the Lagan forces under 
Sir William recovered possession of the castle a few months after. The 
elder branch of Sir William Stewart's descendants were ennobled by the 
titles of Viscounts Mounrjoy and Earls of Blessington, but became extinct 
in 1769, when the baronetage reverted to a younger branch, and is now en* 
joyed by the present baronet, Sir James Stewart of Fort-Stewart, Ramel* 


of ordination, and desired that any thing I scrupled at, J 
should draw a line over it on the margin, and that Mr. Cun- 
ningham should not read it. But I found that it had been 
so marked bj some others before, that I needed not m$dp 
any thing : so the Lord was pleased to carry that business 
far beyond any thing that I had thought, or almost ever de- 
sired." Livingston was among the most learned and laborious 
of the brethren in Ireland, and suffered more than any other 
for his unshaken adherence to the Presbyterian cause. 

Before concluding these brief notices, there are two other 
ministers who, though never settled in congregations, are en- 
titled, from their diligence and sufferings as preachers, to be 
specially mentioned. One was John M'CusLLAiufc "He 
was, 91 says Livingston, " first schoolmaster at Newton-aids in 
Ireland, where he bred several hopeful youths for the college. 
Being first tried and approven by the honest ministers in the 
county of Down, he often preached in their churches. He 
was a most streight and zealous man ; he knew not what it 
was to be afraid in the cause of God, and was early acquaint- 
ed with God and his ways." The other was John Semplb, 
He officiated for a time as clerk or precentor to some of the 
brethren who were settled in the county of Down. His enter* 
ing on the ministerial office arose out of the following inci- 
dent. According to the mode of commencing public worship 
customary at that period, he was, on one Sabbath morning, 
" singing a- psalm before the minister came in that was to 
preach ; he thought he tarried long, and he had an impulse 
to speak something to the psalm he was singing ; and as he 
told me himself," adds the narrator of this incident, who was 
his relative, " he was carried out in great liberty. These wor- 

ton. I trust I shall be pardoned for the disproportionate minuteness of 
my references to this neighbourhood in the present note. My only excuse 
is, that here my boyhood was passed, and youthful associations lent an in- 
terest to the investigation of its parochial antiquities, and I have here 
recorded the result, chiefly for the gratification of many early and valued 
friends at Ramelton. The general reader will, I hope, excuse the appro- 
priation of one note to such an object. 

A.D. 1690. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 1 19 

thies, [the ministers in Down,] considered there was speciality 
m this, took some private trial of him, and being satisfied of 
his edifying gift, gave him license to exercise the same in 
private houses and families. Having obtained this liberty* 
he writ through the country, and was so much followed, thai 
they filled the whole house, and sometimes barns, and was a 
happy instrument in converting many souls to God«" (10) 

These additional ministers proved most valuable auxiliaries 
to the brethren already settled in the country. The aim of 
all was the same— -the revival and extension of true religion 
in this waste and desolate land. Through^ their honoured 
instrumentality, the gospel shot forth its branches in Ulster 
with wonderful rapidity, rill, like the grain of mustard, from 
being the least of all seeds, it became a great and noble tree, 
which, after the lapse of two centuries and the beating of 
many bitter storms, stands, at the present day, more firm 
*nd vigorous than ever. Rarely has the church of Christ in 
any land experienced so sensible an increase, in so limited a 
period, as under the ministry of these brethren ; and the rea» 
?ea is obvious-r-rarely has she enjoyed such faithful servants. 
Their labours for the instruction of the people were truly in* 
defktigable, and were rendered more conspicuous when cofr, 
toasted with the supineness and indifference of the surround* 
ing clergy. At this period, there were about thirty other 
pgotestant ministers resident in the diocese of Down. and. Con* 
nor, which extended over almost the entire counties of Down 
and Antrim ; while within the same limits, there were only 
fourteen churches in a state of repair, — the remainder being 
either decayed or ruinous. (11) Of these ministers, several had 

M life of Gabriel Semple, MS. penes Rev. Dr. Lee, Edinburgh. 

11 Report for the diocese of Down and Connor, in Ulsr. Vis. Book. 
If S8 f Trill Coll. Dub. I have inserted, in the Appendix, appropriated to 
unpublished papers, a summary of the names and residences of all the mi- 
nisters in the dioceses of Armagh, Raphoe, Deny, Down, and Connor, 
in the year 1622, taken from this valuable and authentic record. See 
Appendix, No. I* 


the nominal charge of from three to seven parishes each. 
Some were consequently non-resident ; many were indolent 
and remiss, if not " lewd and scandalous ;" while even the 
most regular appeared to have contented themselves with the 
performance of the mere routine duties of their profession. 

Far different was the conduct of those ministers whose 
names have been specially recorded in these pages. They were 
truly « instant in season and out of season/ labouring to 
instruct their people and promote vital religion with a single- 
ness of purpose, an intensity of desire, and an untiring dili- 
gence, which, if^ever equalled, have at least been seldom sur- 
passed. Blair thus describes his ministerial labours at Ban- 
gor. " My charge was very great, consisting of about six 
miles in length, and containing above twelve hundred per- 
sons come to age, besides children who stood greatly in need 
of instruction. This being the case, I preached twice every 
week besides the Lord's day, on all which occasions I found 
little difficulty either as to matter or method. But finding 
still that this fell short of reaching the design of a Gospel- 
ministry, and that the most part continued vastly ignorant, 
I saw the necessity of trying a more plain and familiar way 
of instructing them ; and, therefore, besides my public 
preaching, I spent as much time every week, as my bodily 
strength could hold out with, in exhorting and catechising 
them. Not long after I fell upon this method the Lord vi- 
sited me with a fever ; on which, some who hated my pain- 
fulness in the ministry, said scoffingly, that they knew I 
could not hold out as I began. But in a little space it 
pleased the Lord to raise me up again, and he enabled me to 
continue that method the whole time I was there. The 
knowledge of God increasing among that people, and the 
ordinance of prayer being precious in their eyes, the work of 
the Lord did prosper in the place ; and in this we were much 
encouraged both by the assistance of holy Mr. Cunningham, 
and by the good example of his little parish of Holywood. 
For knowing that diversity of gifts is entertaining to the 

A.D. 1630. CHURCH IN IRELAND. l£l 

hearers, lie and I did frequently preach for one another; 
and we also agreed to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper four times in each of our congregations annually, so 
that those in both parishes who were thriving in religion, did 
communicate together on all these occasions.'" 

In celebrating the communion, both Blair and the other 
ministers who have been specified, adhered to the ritual of 
the church of Scotland. They used tables placed in the centre 
of the church, and they communicated in a sitting posture. 
Blair s patron, Lord Claneboy, accustomed at court to the 
forms of the English church, was with difficulty persuaded 
to adopt this scriptural method. " The first time," says 
Blair, " I dispensed the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
the solemnity was like to have been disorderly on this account. 
My noble patron and his lady would communicate kneeling ; 
and even after reasoning, his lordship continued obstinate ; 
wo that I parted from him with sorrow, and resolved to delay 
that work until another time. But his lordship remember* 
ing that his pew joined to the upper end of the table, and 
was so enclosed that only one's head could be discovered in it, 
he promised not to kneel on condition he received the ele- 
ments within his own pew. For peace sake, I rashly yield- 
ed to this offer, but was so much discomposed by it next 
day, that when I came to the public, I was for half an 
hour so much deserted of God, that I was about to give over 
the work of that day. But the Lord in great mercy pitied 
and helped me. For preaching upon the words of the in- 
stitution, 1 Cor. xi. chap, and handling these words ' This 
cup is the New Testament in my blood,' as soon as I began 
to discourse of that New Testament or Covenant, I found 
light and life flowing in upon my soul, enlarging it, and 
opening my mouth to speak with comfort and courage ; and 
with this assistance I went to the table and administered the 
Sacrament The action being ended, my patron and espe- 
cially his lady, professed their great satisfaction with that 



day's service, and proved my most tender and real friend* 
ever after." 

Blair and bis brethren were equally firm in m*jn*»iniiig 
fbe other peculiarities of the Presbyterian discipline, which 
are not merely empty forms, capriciously adopted in opposi- 
tion to other churches, but important institutions, founded on 
Scripture, by which the efforts of the ministry to repress 
un and encourage holiness are materially assisted, " Iq 
my congregation," writes Blair, " we had Ipoth deacons ft* 
the poor, and elders for discipline ; and so long as we were 
permitted to exercise it, the Lord blessed that ordinance. Of 
this, I shall only give an instance. A cunning adulterer, 
who ha4 continued long in that sin before I went to JBqngor, 
and by bribing the bishop's official, had conoealed his wicked- 
ness, having been present at a sermon which I had o« tfe$ 
parable, of the sower, it pleased the Lord so to reach hip con- 
science, that he made confession of his great am with, many 
tears, and sought to be admitted to the public profession of 
his repentance. This the session did readily agree to, and 
be appeared publicly, for several days, under very deep con- 
viction, to the great affecting of tjie congregation, and lived 
ever after a reformed man, sp far as could be perceived* 
Qthers also did willingly submit themselves to discipline, till 
a prpud youth, the heir of a considerable estate, falling into a 
scandal, proved refractory, and appealed to the bishop : After, 
which the order of our discipline was broken, and it became 
fashionable for the rich to compound with the bishop's official ; 
and though the poor were sent to do public penance, as they* 
call it, yet I never saw a blessing accompany that ordinance 
thereafter, nor edification to the people." 

Xiivingston, as might be anticipated, adopted a similar: 
course in Killinchy, where much ignorance and formality pre- 
vailed. Speaking of the time immediately subsequent to his 
ordination, he writes, — " That winter following I was often in. 
great heaviness ; for although the people were very tractable, 

A.p. 1630. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 123 

yet they were generally very ignorant, and I saw, no appear- 
ance of doing any good among them ; yet it pleased the Lord 
that in a short time some of them began to understand some- 
what of their condition. Not only had we public worship free 
of any inventions of men, but we had also a tolerable discip- 
line. For after I had been somewhile among them, by the 
advice of the heads of families, some ablest for that charge 
were chosen elders, to oversee the manners of the rest, and 
tome deacons to gather and distribute the collections. We, 
[t. & the session,] met every week, and such as fell into noto- 
rious public scandals we desired to come before us. Such a* 
came were dealt with, both in public and private, to confess 
t^eir scandal in presence of the congregation, at the Satur- 
day's sermon before the communion, which was celebrated, 
twice in the year. Such as after dealing would not come 
before us, or coming, would not be convinced to acknowledge 
their fault before the congregation, upon the Saturday pre-, 
ceding the communion, their names, scandals, and iippeni- 
tency were read out before the congregation, and they de- 
barred from the communion : which proved such a terror, that 
we found very few of that sort. We needed not to have the 
communion oftener ; for there were nine or ten parishes within 
the bounds of twenty miles or little more, wherein there, 
were godly and able ministers that kept a society together, 
and every one of these had the communion twice a-year, 
at different times, and had two or three of the neighbouring 
qdnisters to help thereat, and most part of the religious, 
people used to resort to the communions of the rest of the 

Hie support of some of these ministers was derived from 
the tithes of the parishes in which they laboured; while 
others received a fixed endowment, paid as in Scotland, by the 
patron, in lieu of the tithe which was received directly by 
himself; and to this endowment was occasionally added a 
stipend from the people. Blair relates, that at his settlement 
" the people of Bangor promised, if the patron's offer of main- 


tenance were not large enough, they would willingly add to 
the same.'" His predecessor, Gibson, had been maintained 
solely by a fixed endowment paid by Sir James Hamilton, 
the landlord and patron of the parish ; and Cunningham of 
Holywood was supported in a similar manner. On the other 
hand, Livingston's support was derived entirely from the 
people ; though he states, he " never had of stipend in Kil- 
linchy above four pounds sterling by year." (U) 

The religious sentiments of all these ministers were those 
to which the epithet Calvinistic is generally applied, and 
which, at this period, were universally maintained throughout 
the three national churches of the empire. They entertained 
none of that hostility to creeds, covenants, or confessions, 
which has been sometimes assumed as characteristic of the 
early Presbyterian ministers in Ireland. Those who had 
graduated in the universities, or been admitted to the minis- 
try, in Scotland, had signed the Scots Confession of Faith ; 
and on entering upon the ministerial office in Ireland, while 
they objected to matters of government, and were particularly 
careful not to be ensnared into an approbation of prelacy, they 
cheerfully acquiesced in the confession of the Irish church, 
which was strictly Calvinistic, and unobjectionable either to 
Scottish presbyterians or English puritans. 

United as these ministers were in spirit and in principle ; 
distinguished as they were from the surrounding clergy, no 
less by their ardour and diligence in their profession, than by 
the singular success which attended their labours ; and ex- 
posed, as they would thereby be, to the scoffs of the profane 

12 In some manuscript copies of Livingston's Life, which I have seen, 
this sum is stated at forty pounds, probably an error of some later copyists, 
startled at the fact of a minister receiving only L.4 per annum, and con- 
ceiving it to be intended for L.40. But there was no mistake. In 1583, 
the annual stipend of John Hooke, minister at Wroxall, in Warwickshire, 
was L.5, 68. 8d. Brooke's Pur. iii. 508. Rutherford's stipend in An- 
worth, Gallowaysbire, in the year 1627, was L.1 1, derived partly from the 
teinds or tithes, and partly from the voluntary contributions of the people. 
Life by Murray, p. 41. 

A.D. 1630. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 125 

and the jealousy of their more indolent and worldly brethren ; 
it is natural to expect that, under such circumstances, a very 
close and cordial intimacy would subsist among them. This 
was the fact. As they were ' fellow-helpers to the truth, 1 so 
were they < members one of another ;' sympathizing with 
those who suffered, or rejoicing with those who were honoured. 
Their visible bond of union was the monthly meetings which 
had commenced at Antrim, as already stated, about the year 
1626 ; whither, as to a solemn and invigorating feast* they 
diligently resorted, accompanied by the more religious portion 
of their people. Livingston gives the following account of 
the manner in which these influential meetings were conduct- 
ed, and at the same time intimates the delightful harmony 
which subsisted among the ministers, and the avidity for in* 
■traction by which the people were characterized. 

" We used ordinarily to meet the first Friday of every month 
At Antrim, where was a great and good congregation ; and that 
day was spent in fasting and prayer, and publick preaching. 
Commonly two preached every forenoon, and two in the after- 
noon. We used to come together the Thursday's night be- 
fore, and stayed the Friday's night after ; and consulted about 
such things as concerned the carrying on of the work of God ; 
and these meetings among ourselves were sometimes as pro- 
fitable as either presbyteries or synods. Such as laid religion 
to heart, used to convene to those meetings, especially out of 
the Six-mile-water [valley] which was nearest hand, and 
where was the greatest number of religious people ; and fre- 
quently the Sabbath after the Friday's meeting, the com- 
munion was celebrated in one or other of our parishes. 
Among all the ministers, there was never any jar or jealousy ; 
yea, nor amongst the professors, the greatest part of them 
being Scots, and some good number of very gracious Eng- 
lish ; all whose contention was to prefer others to themselves. 
And although the gifts of the ministers were much different, 
yet it was not observed that the people followed any to the 
undervaluing of others. Many of these religious professors 


had been both ignorant and profane ; and for debt and Want, 
and worse causes, had left Scbtland. Yet the Lord was 
"pleased by His word to work such a change, that I do Hot 
think there were more lively and experienced Christians any 
whdre, than were these at this tinle in Ireland. They wert 
in good numbers, and several of them persons in good out- 
ward condition in the world. Being but lately brought in, 
the lively edge was not yet gone off them, and the perpetual 
f6ar, that the bishops would put away their ministers, made 
them with great hunger wait on the Ordinances. I have 
knrfwri therh come several miles from their own houses to 
communions, to the Saturday's sermon, and spending the 
Whole Saturday's night in several companies, sometimes a 
minister being with them, and sometimes themselves alone, 
in conference and prayer. They have then waited on the 
public ordinances the whole Sabbath, and spent the Sabbath 
night in the same way, and yet at the Monday's sermon were 
not troubled with sleepiness ; and so they have not slept till 
they went home. In those days it was no great difficulty for 
a minister to preach or pray in public or private, such was 
the hunger of the hearers ; and it was hard to judge whether 
there was more of the Lord's presence in the public or private 
meetings." This statement is fully corroborated by Blair. 
<c The blessed work of conversion, which was of several years 
continuance, spread beyond the bounds of Antrim and Down, 
to the skirts of neighbouring counties; and the resort of 
people to the monthly meetings and communion occasions, 
and the appetite of the people were become so great, that wc 
were sometimes constrained, in sympathy to them, to venture 
beyond any preparation we had made for the season. And 
indeed preaching and praying were so pleasant in those days, 
and hearers so eager and greedy, that no day was long 
enough, nor any room great enough to answer their strong 
desires and large expectations." 

The singular success which attended the preaching of the 
word at this period, is also attested by another writer in so 

A.D. 1630. CHURCH IK IRELAND. 127 

ample and striking a manner, that this additional and inde- 
pendent testimony to the truth of facts which many may feel 
reluctant to admit, must not be withheld."* " I shall here 
instance thfet great and solemn work of God which was in the 
dhuroh of Ireland some years before the fall of prelacy, about 
the year 1628, and some yfears thereafter, which, as many 
grave and solid Christians yet alive can witness, who were 
there present, was a bright and hot sun-blink of the gospel i 
yea, may with sobriety be said to have been one of the largest 
toanifestations of the Spirit, and of die most solemn times of 
the down-pouring thereof, that almost since the days of the 
apostles hath been seen. I remember, amongst other pas- 
sages, what a worthy Christian told me, how sometimes in 
hearing the word, such a power and evidence of the Lord's 
presence was with it, that he hath been forced to rise and 
look through the church and see what the people were doing* 
thinking from what he felt on his own spirit, it was a wonder 
how any could go away without some change upon them. 
And then it was sweet and easy for Christians to come thirty 
or forty miles to the solemn communions which they hadj 
and there continue from the time they came until they re- 
turned, without wearying or making use of sleep ; yea, but 
little either meat or drink, and, as some of them professed* 
did not feel the need thereof, but went away most fresh and 
Vigorous, their souls so filled with the sense of God." 

Such was the extraordinary and well-attested success with 
which the preaching of these devoted servants of God was fa- 
voured. They were not, however, without their trials, nor 
did the important work, in which they were engaged, advance 
without encountering various difficulties. Obstructions from 
several quarters frequently threatened to impede its progress. 
The Romanists, who began to aarame much confidence after 
the project of marriage between Charles and the Infanta 
of Spain, a Roman catholic princess, had become known in 

" By Fleming in his ' Fulf. of the Scrip.' i. 400-1. 


Ireland, were the first to oppose the truth. Two friars, edu- 
cated at Salamanca in Spain, challenged the ministers to a 
public disputation on the peculiar tenets of protestantism ; 
and the demand was put forward with such an air of defiance, 
that it was accepted by Blair and Welsh. But after the 
topics of the intended discussion had been agreed upon, and 
the two brethren had appeared at the appointed time and 
place, the friars shrunk from their challenge, and no further 
opposition was offered from this quarter. 

They were soon after assailed, on the other side, by a party 
of separatists from London, who hearing of the religious free* 
dom enjoyed in Ulster and the success of the gospel, expected 
to make many converts among so zealous and religious a 
people. They accordingly removed hither, and settled for a 
time in the town of Antrim. Here they soon became known 
by their refusing to frequent the public assemblies for worship 
on the Sabbath, as well as the devotional meetings held on 
the other days of the week. When conferred with in relation 
to their religious views, they did not appear to be well inform- 
ed, or at least, they concealed their peculiar tenets. (14) They 
failed, however, in effecting any breach in the peace and unity, 
by which the brethren and their people were then happily 

Thus freed from Roman catholic sophistry on the one 
hand, and sectarian wiles on the other, another fertile source 
of distraction was in danger of being opened among them. 
They were nearly involved in the Arminian controversy by 
one Mr. Freeman, " an English conformist," who had 
gained many followers, and was very assiduous in propagat- 
ing his favourite tenets. Having accompanied his patron, 
Mr. Rowley, to one of the monthly meetings at Antrim, 
he boldly undertook to confute and silence all the assem-* 
bled ministers, who unanimously maintained the opinions 

14 These separatists were probably of the Baptist persuasion. The 
reader will find them, in chap, ix., re-appearing at Antrim after the Re- 

A.D. 1680. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 129 

of Calvin. Mr. Blair, by appointment of the brethren, held 
a public discussion with him. Freeman proposed, as the 
subject of dispute, the decree of reprobation, the primary ob- 
ject of attack, to every captious Arminian and confident ra- 
tionalist, to the present day ; but he was wholly unable to an- 
swer the arguments of his learned antagonist. On the se- 
cond day he retired in confusion from the contest, and Mr. 
Rowley, convinced of the ignorance and errors of his teacher, 
m presence of the meeting, publicly renounced his fellow- 
ship. '< After which," it is added, " he was deserted of the 
people, and at last turned very dissolute and fell into mis- 
chievous practices." No attempt was afterwards made to in- 
troduce this distracting controversy. 

These varied trials, while they did not impede the progress 
of the truth, served to exhibit more conspicuously the piety, 
learning and prudence of those eminent men, on whom alone 
appears to have devolved the labour of its propagation and 
defence. These honoured ministers, it need scarcely be 
added, after the full detail which has been given of their cha- 
racter, principles and conduct, were strictly presbyterian. 
Though like the English puritans, in the early part of the 
reign of Elizabeth, they were comprehended within the pale 
of the established episcopal church, enjoying its endowments 
and sharing its dignities, yet notwithstanding this singular 
position which they occupied, they introduced and maintain- 
ed the several peculiarities, both of discipline and worship, by 
which the Scottish church was distinguished. To them, 
therefore, the grateful regards of their descendants in this 
country have, from an early period, been directed, as the 
founders of the presbyterian church in Ireland. Its success- 
ful progress in Ulster, in subsequent times, is no doubt to be 
principally ascribed to their firmness and zeal. But it would 
be a great mistake to suppose, because peculiar circumstances 
afterwards rendered these ministers conspicuous for their non- 
conformity, and thus gave a prominence to their names above 
the rest of their brethren, that they were the only persons in 

VOL. I. K. 


the ministry who were attached to presbyterianism. In truth, 
most of the northern clergy were at this period non-ronformists, 
both in principle and in practice. They conformed just so 
far as would ensure their security and maintenance under the 
protection of the legal establishment. In some of the dioceses* 
this was all that the bishops required ; and consequently the 
names of those ministers who, though maintaining their pe- 
culiar sentiments, were permitted to live and die unmolested 
within the pale of the national church, have been necessarily 
lost to posterity. When succeeding prelates became more 
strict in exacting conformity, the clergy generally yielded, 
though with reluctance, the canonical obedience required of 
them before their superiors; but, in the seclusion of their 
parishes, they continued to observe the presbyterian forms, so 
congenial to the habits and prejudices of their people. By 
this temporizing policy, however, their names also have sunk 
into oblivion. But the brethren noticed in these pages, hav- 
ing their lot cast in a diocese, over which was subsequently 
placed one of the most intolerant of the northern prelates, 
and being themselves too firm in principle to disguise their 
sentiments, or violate their consciences, by promising a con- 
formity which they could not conscientiously yield, were 
speedily marked out for persecution ; and thus attained that 
unhappy but honourable notoriety, which has rescued their 
names from oblivion, and transmitted them to posterity, as the 
fathers and founders of the presbyterian church in Ulster. 

To this distinction they were soon called. Scarcely had 
Livingston been added to their number, when their prosper- 
ing labours were interrupted by bishop Echlin, once their 
friend and patron. He bad, for some time, viewed with jea- 
lousy and dislike the increasing influence, which their zeal 
and fidelity had given them over the people ; and had latterly 
refused to ordain any more ministers, without their promising 
strict conformity to the order of the English church. In 
consequence of this refusal, Welsh, Colvert, Livingston and 
others were obliged to have recourse for ordination to the 

A.D. 1626. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 131 

bishop of Raphoe. According to Blair, so early as the year 
1626, Echlin began to throw obstructions in their way. 
" Dr. Echlin, bishop of Down, was the first whom we dis- 
covered to lay snares for us; but because the people did 
generally approve our labours, he did this under cover. And 
first be wrote to me to be ready to preach at the primate's 
triennial visitation ; for though Dr. Ussher was then in Eng- 
land, two bishops and a doctor, his delegates, were to go that 
course for him. Before the appointed day came, bishop 
Echlin sent me notice by word of mouth, that another was 
to supply the part assigned me. But this verbal message 
contradicting his written order, I concluded that the last was, 
of purpose, calculated to leave me in an uncertainty that he 
might pick a quarrel with me ; and therefore I prepared a 
discourse for that occasion. If any ask how I durst counte- 
nance these prelatic meetings ? It should be considered that 
we were not then under an explicit covenant against them, 
as we are now ; and being still left to our liberty as to the 
full and free exercise of our pastoral office, I judged it my 
duty to ' be instant in season and out of season.' Accordingly, 
having meditated upon 2 Cor. iv. 1. ' Therefore, seeing 
we have this ministry,' &c. I endeavoured especially to 
show, that Christ our Lord had instituted no bishops, but 
presbyters, or ministers ; and proved this, first, from the holy 
Scriptures; next, from the testimonies of the more pure 
among the ancient fathers and divines, that have been seek- 
ing reformation these thirteen hundred years ; and, lastly, 
from the testimonies of the more moderate divines, both over 
sea and in England ; not forgetting to rank the learned Dr, 
Usher, their primate, among the chief: And then I eaa* 
eluded with an exhortation to them to use moderately that 
power which custom and human laws had put in their hand. 
And, indeed, they took with the advice, without challenging 
my freedom. Only the bishop of Dromore, who was brother- 
in-law to Dr. Usher, exhorted me privately to behave aa 


moderately towards them, as they had done to me, and then 
bade me farewell. 

" This snare being broken, the crafty bishop set about 
weaving a more dangerous web. For knowing that one of 
the two lords justices, who came annually to the northern 
circuit, was a violent urger of conformity to the English cere- 
monies, he wrote to me to make ready a sermon, to be de- 
livered before them against the next assizes. And this was 
the more dangerous, that it being Easter, the judges were to 
communicate that day. (15) 

" Against the time appointed, I came to the place where 
they sat, committing the matter to the Lord, who hath all 
hearts and mouths in his own hand. Some Scots gentlemen 
who attended the justices, knowing one of them to be well 
disposed, they took the freedom to hint to him the inconve- 
nience of spending the Saturday, immediately preceding their 
communicating, wholly upon civil affairs ; and suggested the 
necessity of being more religiously employed before so solemn 
an approach. This advice was well received by the judge, 
who promised to procure a hearing to any minister who had 
a sermon in readiness. Whereupon the gentlemen, without 
consulting me, undertook for my readiness. And, accord- 
ingly, one being sent to me for that purpose, I preached the 
same evening, and next day likewise, without ever taking 
the least notice of their communicating. 

" After sermon, on die Lord's day, one of the judges 
wanting to confer with me, sent for me to his lodging ; where, 
after professing his satisfaction with what I had delivered, 
especially in my last sermon, « for therein,* said he, ' you 
opened a point which I never heard before, viz. the covenant 

15 It is stated in the MS. life of Robert Blair, that this judge was 
the lord chief baron of exchequer, Sir Richard Beaton, of whom mention 
is made at page 184. This MS., both here and elsewhere, contains many 
interesting particulars which are omitted in the printed life. The day spe- 
cified was Sabbath, March 25, 1627. 

A.D. 1630. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 133 

of redemption made with Christ the Mediator, as bead of 
the elect C he entreated me to go over the heads of that ser- 
mon with him. And, opening his Bible, he read over and 
considered the proofs cited ; and was so well satisfied, that he 
protested, if his calling did not tie him to Dublin, he would 
gladly come to the north, and settle under such a ministry. 
In the end, he told me, that I would be sent for to supper ; 
and warned me to be cautious in my answers to his colleague, 
who was zealous for the English ceremonies : And before he 
left the place, he sent for the bishop, and charged him to be 
careful that no harm nor interruption should come to my 
ministry. And thus the only wise Lord, to whom I had 
committed myself and my ministry, did break this snare also, 
and brought me off with comfort and credit." 

Disappointed in these insidious attempts to ensnare the 
more eminent of the presbyterian ministers, Echlin was 
shortly after emboldened to oppose them more openly. To 
this he was urged " by the means of one Mr. Henry Leslie, 
dean, and afterward bishop of Down, a violent and vain- 
glorious man ; and of Mr. John Maxwell, one of the ministers 
of Edinburgh, who was gaping for a bishoprick," (16) and who 
strenuously supported all the arbitrary measures by which 
Charles was then endeavouring to impose the English prelacy 
and church service on the Scottish nation. These men, ever 
on the alert to find matter of accusation against the adherents 
of presbytery, were led by the following incident to solicit 
the interference of Echlin. In the month of June 1630, 
Mr. Livingston, in conjunction with Mr. Blair, then on a 
visit to his friends in Scotland, had assisted at the celebra- 
tion of the Lord's Supper at the kirk of Shotts — a season 
long remembered in that country, and signally instrumental 
in reviving and extending vital religion. The unusual con- 
jcourse of persons of all ranks who attended at that commu* 
nion, and the favourable effects produced by the services, eg? 

" Blair's Life, p. 73. 


penally by the sermon preached on Monday by Livingston* 
attracted the attention and excited die envy of die prelatical 
clergy, already too jealous of die popularity and influence 
enjoyed by their presbyterian brethren. Against the Scot- 
tish ministers, however, protected as they still were by many 
of the first rank in the kingdom, they dared not proceed with 
open violence. But die two ministers from Ireland, who had 
officiated on that occasion, enjoying no such protect i on, and 
being, moreover, connected with the prelatic church of then- 
own country, presented fit objects for their envious persecu- 
tion. Accordingly, Maxwell of Edinburgh, and, aa Living- 
ston adds, Mr. James Law, bishop of Glaagow, during the 
course of the year, informed dean Leslie of what they would 
doubtless style the uncanonical and schismatic conduct of the 
Irish ministers in their neighbourhood. They farmer 
charged them with exciting the people to ecstasies, and teach- 
ing the necessity of bodily pains to attest the reality of the 
new birth. The dean entered warmly into their complaints. 
He laid their grave accusations before Echlin, and supported 
by Sir Richard Beaton, lord chief baron, a violent adhe- 
rent of prelacy, who occasionally came as judge on the 
northern circuit of assize, he at length, in September 1631, 
prevailed with the * timorous ' bishop to suspend Blair and 
Livingston from the exercise of their ministerial functions. 

This was the first blow openly levelled at the permanence 
and prosperity of the Presbyterian ministry in Ulster. But 
though it happily took little effect, yet, from this period, may 
be dated the commencement of that systematic opposition to 
the brethren, which ultimately terminated in their forcible ex- 
pulsion from the kingdom. 

No sooner was the bishop's hasty and unjust sentence in- 
timated to Blair, than he resolved to have recourse to arch- 
bishop Ussher, and to solicit his interference in behalf of him- 
self and his suspended brother. He was encouraged to make 
this application, from his personal knowledge of the primate's 
liberal and forbearing spirit. Four years before, he had been 

A.D. 1691. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 135 

introduced to his Grace by Lord Claneboy* and had conven- 
ed freely with him, on several of the topics which were then 
agitating the religious world. And as die minutest circum- 
stance relative to that great and good man cannot but prove 
interesting, the particulars of this interview are subjoined in 
the words of Blair. " In March 1627, my noble patron 
having had a great esteem of primate Usher, would have me 
to accompany him to a meeting of the nobility and gentry of 
Ulster with the primate. Accordingly I went, and had a 
kind invitation to be at his table while I was in town. But 
having once met with the English liturgy there, I left my 
•excuse with my patron, that I expected another thing than 
formal liturgies in the family of so learned and pious a man. 
The primate excused himself, by reason of the great confluence 
that was there, and had the good nature to entreat me to come 
to Tredaff,< 17) where his ordinary residence was, and where be 
would be more at leisure to be better acquainted with me. 

" I complied with the primate's invitation, and found him 
very affable and ready to impart his mind. He desired to 
•know what was my judgment concerning the nature of justi- 
fying and saving faith. I told him, in general, that I held 
die accepting of Jesus Christ, as he is freely offered in the 
Gospel, to be saving faith. With this he was well satisfied, 
and by a large discourse confirmed and further cleared the 
same, by the similitude of a marriage, where it is not the 
sending or receiving of gifts, but the accepting the person 
that constitutes the marriage. From this he passed on to 
try my mind concerning ceremonies, wherein we were not to 
far from agreeing as I feared. For when I had freely open- 
ed my grievances, he admitted that all these things ought to 
have been removed, but the constitution and laws of the 
place and time would not permit that to be done. He added 
that he was afraid our strong disaffection to these would mar 
our ministry; that he had himself been importuned to stretch 

*7 The old name of Droghcd*. 


forth his hand against us ; and that though he would not for 
the world do that, he feared instruments might be found who 
would do it ; and he added, that it would break his heart if 
our successful ministry in the north were interrupted. Our 
conference ending, he dismissed me very kindly, though I 
gave him no high titles ; and when trouble came upon us, 
he proved our very good friend." Such was Ussher, — kind, 
candid, and courteous ; not more singular in his day for his 
immense erudition, than for his tolerant spirit ! Amidst the 
splendour with which his rank and learning have invested 
him, it is delightful to obtain such a familiar glance, as this 
passage presents, of his private life and sentiments. Nor is 
it less pleasing to meet, especially in the person of Ussher., 
with another illustration of this instructive maxim — that while 
sectarian bigotry is the offspring of pride and ignorance, true 
wisdom and genuine piety are ever characterized by candour 
and charity. 

Blair was not disappointed in his application to the pri- 
mate. He immediately interested himself in behalf of the 
suspended ministers. Fully convinced of their piety and 
Christian prudence, he wrote to Echlin to " relax his erro- 
neous censure." This injunction was promptly obeyed; 
and Blair and Livingston were permitted to resume the exer- 
cise of their ministry among their beloved and affectionate 

Their Scottish adversaries, however, did not desist from 
their opposition. Baffled in their endeavours to stir up the 
ecclesiastical authorities against these laborious and unpre- 
tending ministers of Christ ; they next endeavoured to accom- 
plish their object through the medium of the civil powers. 
But dreading that the Irish government might prove as for- 
bearing and tolerant as the primate, they resolved to apply di- 
rectly to the king himself, from whom, guided as he then 
was in religious matters by Laud, they expected a ready 
acquiescence in their persecuting purposes. Maxwell, ac- 
cordingly, hurried to court, and there preferred the heaviest 

A.0. 1632. CHURCH IN IRELAND. . 137 

charges of enthusiasm, turbulence, and disobedience to eccle- 
siastical authority, against the Scottish ministers in Ulster. 
He named in particular these four, Messrs. Blair, Living* 
*ton, Dunbar and Welsh, who having been censured for prer 
snmed nan-conformity in Scotland, prior to their removal to 
Ireland, were peculiarly obnoxious to the prelatical party. 

These accusations were readily entertained and acted on 
by Laud and his royal pupil. Letters were immediately 
despatched to the lords justices of Ireland, then at the head 
of the government, directing them to issue their orders to the 
bishop of Down and Connor, to try these alleged fanatical 
disturbers of the peace of his diocese ; and, if found guilty 
of the charges preferred against them, to censure them ac- 
cordingly. " But the bishop,'" says Blair, " knowing per- 
fectly well that he would succumb in that accusation, did 
conceal his order, and went to work another way. He caused 
cite Mr. Livingston and myself, with Mr. Dunbar and Mr. 
Welsh before him, and urged us to conform and give our 
subscription to that effect. We answered, that there was 
then no law nor canon in that kingdom requiring this. Not- 
withstanding, he had the cruelty to depose us all four from 
the office of the holy ministry ." The former two were si- 
lenced on the fourth of May 1632, and the latter two in the 
following week ; and thus, for not yielding a conformity, from 
which they had been exempted when they entered on the 
ministry in Ireland, were these faithful men violently ex- 
cluded from their offices, and thrown destitute on the world. 

Undismayed, however, by the difficulties with which they 
were now encompassed, and ardently desirous of being re- 
stored to the exercise of their beloved calling, they resolved 
to use every exertion in their power to procure the reversal of 
this unjust sentence. " Application was again made," writes 
Blair, " in our behalf to archbishop Ussher. But he told 
us he could not interpose, because the two lords justices 
had an order from the king respecting us. And when we 
had recourse to their lordships, they remitted us to the 


king, firom whom only remedy could be bad. The bcethrefe 
being thus shut up, they did weigh the expediency of an ap* 
plication to court. On the one hand, we saw that the tide 
for conformity did run very high ; and we knew likewise* 
that bishop Laud did not only rule but domineer in Eng+ 
land. Yet, on the other hand, we knew we were innocent 
of the matter wherewith we were accused. We hoped like- 
wise that several of the Scots nobility having been friendly 
to us, and the lord Alexander, eldest son to the secretary 
for Scottish affkirs, (18) having been my scholar, that by this 
door we would find access to his Majesty, as the ordinance of 
God to the oppressed. And so I was persuaded, after fre- 
quent addresses to God for direction, to undertake a journey 
with a petition to the king, that we might be tried in the 
matter laid to our charge ; and if found innocent, that we 
might be acquitted and restored to our flocks, committing 
the event of all to Him who overruleth the spirits of princes, 
and is a King over kings, and a Lord over lords and cour- 

In pursuance of this design, Mr. Livingston retired to 
Scotland, where he obtained recommendatory letters to their 
friends at court from the marchioness of Hamilton, and from 
the earls of Eglinton, Linlithgow, and Wigton. These 
letters he transmitted to Mr. Blair ; who, having also pro- 
cured additional ones from his Irish friends, immediately set 
out to London on this hazardous but interesting, mission. 
The circumstances of his journey will be best narrated in his 
Own words. " Having procured letters from several nobles 

u This secretary was William Alexander, first earl of Stirling, a poet 
as well as a statesman. He assisted James I. in preparing a metrical ver- 
sion of the book of Psalms, known by the name of the Royal Psalter. 
After the death of the fifth Earl of Stirling in the year 1739, the title re- 
mained dormant for a considerable period. It may not be inappropriate to 
add, .that the title devolved on a minister of the Presbyterian church in 
Ireland ; whose grandson has at length succeeded in establishing his claim, 
and is now recognised as the ninth earl of Stirling. 

A.D. 1662. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 199 

and gentry, both in Scotland and Ireland, to their friends at 
court on our behalf, I set out on my journey, leaving many 
holy persons wrestling with God for a comfortable issue. And 
indeed they were a praying people for whom I undertook this 
Journey. At my house, two nights were spent every week at 
prayer, and though those who did bear chief burden therein 
were not above the rank of husbandmen, yet they abounded 
in the grace and spirit of prayer. Other places were not short 
of, but rather excelled in that duty ; and even in congrega- 
tions who yet enjoyed their own pastors, many prayers were 
put up on our account, as I learned at my return. After my 
first outset, I was suddenly afflicted with pain in my kidnies ; 
and I cried earnestly to the Lord, that he would be pleased 
to spare me till I were better accommodated for such a trial ; 
which petition was granted as soon as put up, and I went on 
my way rejoicing. 

" When I reached Greenwich, where the court then lay, 
I had speedy recourse to the earl of Stirling, secretary ; who 
promised, if my petition were sent him, to procure a despatch 
to my mind without expense. This he undertook the more 
readily, that the king being then on a progress for the hunt- 
ing, he doubted not that his Majesty would be gone ere that 
petition were got ready. But I, supposing all the hazard lay 
in not getting it ready before the king set out, did bend up' 
all the earnestness 1 could of prayer, with dexterity of endea- 
vours ; and getting the petition ready in due time, went with 
it to the secretary ; and was so overjoyed in hopes of the 
issue, that 1 did literally exult and leap. But when the 
timorous man saw my forwardness, he, fearing bishop Laud 
more than God, did faint and break his promise. 

44 At this disappointment I was greatly dejected; and passing 
to a quiet place in Greenwich Park, poured out my complaint 
unto God ; and after I had been thrice employed in that way, 
and in offering up myself and all my enjoyments to him for 
the sake of the gospel, my heaviness was removed, my prayer 
taken off my hand, and, as I conceived, my request granted. 


" Accordingly I took courage, and found secretary Cook 
the mean of procuring a hearing from the king. This man 
being esteemed rigid for conformity, it was highly probable 
he would not be a happy instrument in any such matter. 
But the thoughts of the Lord are not as ours. The king 
having been then at the forest of Bewly, at a distance from 
the bishops, my petition was put into his hand, and met with 
a gracious answer. For the secretary having wrote the de- 
liverance thereon, and addressed it to archbishop Usher, 
which the king reckoned improper ; his majesty caused the 
secretary to direct it to Strafford, and with his own hand he 
did insert a clause which I durst not petition for, viz. ' That 
if the information made to him proved false, the informers 

should be punished/ And so having obtained my errand, 

I gave the secretary's clerks, three Jacobuses, himself taking 
nothing, and made all the haste I could back to London, and 
thence to Ireland.— There I was received with great joy, 
especially when they heard that 1 had brought with me a 
just and favourable letter from the king's majesty. But 
they were much dejected, that he to whom it was directed, 
was yet in England, not like to come over in haste ; and in- 
deed he came not for almost a twelvemonth after this. Yet 
this was no great loss, but rather an advantage to us. For 
•though this letter did not take off the sentence of deposition ; 
yet, by putting the matter to a new trial, it did weaken the 
same. And therefore we went on teaching our people ; only, 
for form's sake, I did not go up to the pulpit, but stood be- 
side the precentor." 

By this means, were the suspended brethren enabled to 
resume the duties of the ministry, though still under con- 
siderable restrictions. These were laid so rigorously on 
Livingston, that he was obliged to leave the country alto- 
gether, and retire to Scotland ; and although the other minis- 
ters were enabled to remain, they enjoyed little comfort or 
freedom. They were supported, however, by the hope that 
the arrival of the lord deputy Wcntworth would put an 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND, 141 

end to these privations, and that he would pay immediate 
attention to the royal mandate in the possession of Blair. 

But they little knew the character of the man in whose hands 
the destinies of the kingdom were now placed. A more un- 
fortunate choice of a deputy could not have been made for 
the presbyterians of Ireland ; and, perhaps it might be added, 
for the nation at large, the subsequent calamities of which 
may in a great measure be attributed to the elevation of this 
most talented but unconstitutional statesman. Haughty and 
overbearing in his manner, irascible and vindictive in his 
temper, tyrannical in his political, and intolerant in his re- 
ligious, sentiments, it was in vain to look to him for either 
protection against illegal oppression, or relief from prelatical 
severities. Viewing man as born either to rule or to obey, he 
was incapable of sympathizing with those who suffered for any 
principle of conscience ; and entrusted with the care of assimi- 
lating the ecclesiastical state of Ireland to that of England, 
he was especially hostile to every species of non-conformity. 

Though appointed lord deputy in January 1632, Went- 
worth did not enter on his government until July in the 
following year. " At last," writes Blair, " that magnificent 
lord having come over to the lieutenancy of Ireland, I 
went to Dublin, and presented his majesty's letter to him, 
adding, that I hoped for a ready compliance with it. But 
the haughty man did altogether slight that order, telling 
me that he had his majesty's mind in his own breast. He 
reviled the church of Scotland, and upbraided me, bidding me 
come to my right wits, and then I should be regarded : which 
was all the answer I could get from him. With this intel- 
ligence I went to archbishop Usher ; which was so disagree- 
able to him, that it drew tears from his eyes ; but he could 
not help us." 

The prospects now presented to the silenced ministers were 
gloomy in the extreme. All hopes of relief for themselves 
were not only blasted, but in the tone and manner of the 
deputy, they discerned the storm which was gathering round 


the rest of their brethren throughout the kingdom. In- 
fluenced by these apprehensions, the presbyterians in Ulster 
began to despair of enjoying any longer their religions liber- 
ties at home, and to look out for some more favoured region 
abroad. Their attention was naturally directed to New- 
England, which had become known, at this period, as a sea- 
sonable asylum for the persecuted non-conformists of the 
sister kingdom. They accordingly resolved to send a minis- 
ter and gentleman thither, to ascertain the condition of the 
country ; and, if necessary, to select a place where a settlement 
might be most commodiously effected. The persons sent on 
this adventurous mission were Livingston and a Mr. William 
Wallace. After going to London, in die spring of die year 
1634, and thence to Plymouth, they were deterred by various 
untoward circumstances from proceeding further; and they 
returned to Ulster in the month of May. They found their 
brethren resolved to endure, for some time longer, their reli- 
gious privations, and to wait with patience for the further de- 
velopment of those changes, both in the civil and ecclesiastical 
state of the kingdom, which the bold and vigorous measures 
of the new deputy gave reason to expect. 

A.D. 1625. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 143 


State of the kingdom at the accession of Charles I.— Irish army increased— 
Supplies needed — Encouragement of the Romanist party — Protested against 
by the Irish prelates The * Graces* promised — Delay in granting them * 
General discontent of aU parties — Lord Wentworth made deputy— His ar- 
rival—Holds a parliament — Is influenced by Laud in ecclesiastical affairs-* 
State of the English church at this period — And of the Irish church— Par- 
ticularly in Ulster—Nortkern bishops — Bedell — His letter to Laud describ- 
ing the religious stats of his dio ce se ■ Laud turns his attention to Ireland*-* 
Influences Wentworth— BramkaU and Leslie promoted — Letter of the former 
to Laud — Alterations in Dublin college— Irish convocation meet — Adopt 
the EngUsk articles and canons — Wentworth*s account thereof to Laud-* 
High- Commission court erected— Gloomy prospects of the Presbyterians. 

From the accession of Charles to the throne, in the year 1625, 
Ireland enjoyed, for a length of time, uninterrupted peace. 
The Romanist party were not without royal countenance and 
support ; but owing to the zealous interference of the pro- 
testant prelates, who warmly opposed the legal toleration of 
popery, it was not always in the power of the king to favour 
them. Lord Falkland, whom Charles continued in the office 
of deputy, was a lenient and inactive governor; but, being 
married to a Roman catholic lady, he was at all times prompt 
enough in fulfilling the favourable wishes of the court towards 
the Romanists. They were accordingly encouraged to exer- 
cise their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and observe their stated war* 
ship, with greater publicity than at any former period. New re- 
ligious houses, for both monks and nuns, were opened in several 
parts of the kingdom ; and even in the metropolis, a college was 


founded for the training of their priesthood, and the more exten- 
sive propagation of their religion. The kingdom swarmed with 
the Romish clergy, who were educated abroad, and who had 
imbibed the most extravagant ideas of papal power ; and a 
bull from pope Urban VIII. in the year 1626, exhorting 
them to sacrifice their lives rather than take the oath of su- 
premacy, added no little to the confidence of the recusants. (1) 
The embarrassments of Charles, arising out of his expen- 
sive wars with Spain and Austria, had incapacitated him from 
maintaining an adequate military force in Ireland. It was 
necessary, however, that the Irish army should be augmented. 
Considerable discontent prevailed especially in the province 
of Connaught. Here James, before his death, had announced 
his intention of forming a western plantation, similar to that 
which he had successfully established in Ulster. But as 
there were no forfeitures to place this province at the disposal 
of the crown, it was resolved to recal the patents of the pro- 
prietors, which, though regularly passed under the great seal, 
were, through some trifling legal informality recently dis- 
covered, alleged to be invalid. Well-grounded apprehensions 
were entertained lest the numerous mal-contents, excited by 
this obnoxious scheme, should be encouraged to actual rebel- 
lion by the emissaries of Spain, then at war with England ; 
while, at the same time, the growing confidence of the Romanist 
faction, always rendered more insolent by timid conciliation, 
awakened the fears of the zealous protestants. At the urgent 
solicitations, therefore, of the deputy and council, Charles 
was persuaded to augment his Irish army. But unable to 
furnish the necessary expense, he too willingly resorted to 
the unconstitutional expedient of quartering the soldiery 
upon the country ; the inhabitants of which were bound to 
supply them, not only with food, but even with money and 
clothing on demand. To secure a readier acquiescence in 

1 ' Recnsants * was another name for the Roman Catholics, taken from 
the fact, of their refusing either to take the oath of supremacy, as stated in 
the ten, or to attend the protectant worship. 

A.D. 1628. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 145 

these oppressive measures, promises were freely given by the 
king that he was about to confer upon the nation certain fa- 
vours and immunities more than sufficient to compensate them 
for that loyal submission which he expected and demanded. 

These promises were cheerfully listened to by the landed 
proprietors. They had been seriously alarmed by the inquiry 
into defective titles, instituted by James in reference to the 
province of Connaught, and latterly extended to all parts of 
the kingdom. The Romanists conceived this opportunity 
to be favourable for obtaining a permanent abolition of the 
penal statutes. And all parties, availing themselves of the 
king 8 necessities, proposed to grant a voluntary contribution 
sufficient for the support of the Irish army, provided he 
would legally confirm the privileges which he had promised 
to grant. This offer was favourably entertained by the depu* 
ty on behalf of Charles. A meeting of the principal nobility 
and gentry of the kingdom, of whom the majority were recu- 
sants, was held in Dublin. Agents were despatched by them 
to London to carry on the negotiation directly with Charles. 
Rumours soon spread that the public toleration of the Romish 
faith was about to be purchased by a contribution to the state. 
Under this impression, archbishop Ussher, fully alive to the 
pernicious tendency of that system, but mistaking the means 
by which it was to be counteracted, consulted with the most 
influential of the Irish prelates assembled in Dublin, on the 
conduct which it was their duty to pursue in this emergency. 
Accordingly on the twenty-sixth of November, 1626, they 
drew up a strong protestation against the toleration of popery. 
This memorable paper, subscribed by two archbishops and 
ten bishops, retarded for a time the proposed project. w But 

* The following is a copy of this celebrated document taken from Cox, 
ii. 434. " The judgment of divers of the archbishops and bishops of Ire* 
land, concerning toleration of religion. 

" The religion of the Papists is superstitious and idolatrous ; their faith 
and doctrine erroneous and heretical ; their church, in respect of both) apos- 
taticaL To give them therefore a toleration, or to consent that they may 

VOL. I. L 


the necessities of the king were growing every day more ur- 
gent By yielding to the demands of the Irish, which were 
in themselves just and equitable, he had the prospect, not 
only of quieting this turbulent portion of his dominions ; but 
of enjoying, without the control of parliament, an ample 
supply for prosecuting the encroachments, which he was even 
then meditating, against the rights of his British subjects. 
The Irish agents, therefore, having made him the tempting 
offer of a voluntary subsidy of i?120,000 to be paid in three 
years, the proposal was accepted ; the privileges solicited by 
them, in accordance with the royal proihise, he formally en- 
gaged to grant ; and instructions were transmitted, in the 
month of May 1628, to Lord Falkland, directing him to 
take the necessary steps that the stipulated engagements on 
the part of the king might be duly and legally fulfilled. 
The concessions, or as they have been denominated, 

freely exercise their religion and profess their faith and doctrine, is a 
grievous sin, and that in two respects : For, 

" First, It is to make ourselves accessory not only to their saperstinoiM 
idolatries and heresies, and, in a word, to all the abominations of Popery ; 
but also, which is a consequent of the former, to the perdition of the se- 
duced people which perish in the deluge of the catholick apostacy. 

" Secondly, To grant them a toleration in respect of any money to be 
given, or contribution to be made by them, is to set religion to sale, and 
with it the souls of the people whom Christ our Saviour hath redeemed 
with his most precious blood. And as it is a great sin, so it is also a mat- 
ter of most dangerous consequence ; the consideration whereof we commit 
to the wise and judicious, beseeching the God of truth to make them who 
are in authority sealous of God's glory and of the advancement of true re* 
ligion ; sealous, resolute, and courageous against all popery, superstition 
and idolatry. Amen." 

This declaration, founded on a sad misconception of the nature of reli- 
gious toleration, was signed by the archbishops of Armagh and Cashel, the 
bishops of Meath, Leighlin and Ferns, Down and Connor, Derry, Cork, 
Kildare, Kilmore, Dromore, Waterford and Limerick. According to Cox, 
it " called forth a remonstrance from the House of Commons in England 
to his majesty, to this effect ; ' That the popish religion was pubtiekly pro- 
fessed in every part of Ireland, and that monasteries and nunneries were 
there newly erected and replenished with votaries of both sexes, which 
would be of evil consequence, unless seasonably repressed.'" Cox, ii. 44. 


The Graces, which Charles promised to grant to his Irish 
subjects, were of the utmost importance to the peace and pros- 
perity of the kingdom. They were indeed so far favourable 
to the Roman catholic party, that permission was given to 
those who were lawyers to practise in the courts ; and to those 
who held in fee from the crown, to sue out their grants upon 
taking an oath, in place of the oath of supremacy, in which 
they simply acknowledged, and engaged to defend, Charles 
as their lawful king. But these promised graces were gene- 
rally calculated to relieve all classes and denominations, and 
to redress numerous grievances existing in both the civil and 
ecclesiastical courts. Amounting to fifty-one, they are too 
numerous to be inserted at length. A few, however, bearing 
on the reformation of the church, and the interests of the 
Scottish colonists in Ulster, may with propriety be noticed. 

In relation to the church, it was provided by the thirty-fifth 
grace, that pluralities of benefices should not be conferred aa 
incompetent ministers ; and that " such as are invested there- 
in are to be compelled to keep preaching, and Sufficient quali- 
fied curates, whereby both God's glory may be advanced, poor 
scholars provided for, and encouragement given to students to 
enable themselves for that high function." By the forty-first, 
it was ordered, among other matters, that " such persons as 
have great rectories, whereunto there are chapels of ease be- 
longing, somewhere six or seven miles distant from the mo- 
ther-church, are to be enjoined to keep preaching ministers 
in those parts, having competent allowance to defray the same." 
And by the forty-ninth it was agreed, that " all unlawful ex- 
actions taken by the clergy are to be reformed and regulated," 
by a commission to be appointed for this special purpose. 

The interests of the Scottish settlers were provided for 
in the twenty-sixth and fortieth graces. By the former, 
their titles to their estates in Ulster, which the commissioners 
of defective titles had rendered very doubtful and precarious, 
were confirmed and secured, upon doubling their rents and 
paying a fine of thirty pounds for every thousand acres ; And 


a commission was directed to be issued for finally passing the 
necessary patents, the withholding of which, for so many years, 
had subjected them to serious inconvenience. By the latter 
of these graces, it was stipulated that " all Scottish men, un- 
dertakers in Ulster and other places, should be made free 
denizens of Ireland, and that no advantage for want of deni- 
zation should be taken against the heirs or assigns of those 
that be dead." » 

That the sanction of law might be given to these various 
grants, the king was induced to consent to the calling of a 
parliament. The third of November was the day named in 
the thirty-fourth grace for its assembling in Dublin, when 
these important favours were to be legally confirmed ; a pro- 
cedure by which die reformation of the kingdom, commenced 
by James, would have been sensibly promoted. But the dis- 
ingenuousness of Charles, for which he afterwards became so 
unhappily notorious, and which was thus early developed in his 
negotiations with his subjects, interrupted this desirable con- 
summation. Owing to a palpable informality, of which it is 
to be feared he was previously cognizant, the writs, summoning 
the parliament for the day appointed, were pronounced inva- 
lid ; no new writs were issued, nor was any time mentioned 
when a legal meeting might take place. The graces therefore 
rested on the king's promise, and on that alone ; but this pro- 
mise he had given, and to this he stood pledged in the most pub- 
lic and solemn manner. Accordingly the stipulated payments 
were duly made in rail reliance on the royal word ; and as the 
Romanist party contributed the greater portion of this season- 
able supply, the execution of the penal laws against their faith 
was still further relaxed. This indulgence both offended and 
alarmed the stricter and more conscientious protestants ; and 
though, to allay their apprehensions, the lord deputy on the 
first of April 1629 issued a formal proclamation, which was 
wholly inoperative, forbidding the Romish clergy to exercise 


' Theft graces are giren at length in Strafford's Letters, i. 812—17. 

A.D. 1629. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 149 

their spiritual functions with that publicity and confidence 
which they had recently assumed, his administration, like 
that of all vacillating governors, became so generally unpopu- 
lar, that he was soon after recalled. 

The government was now intrusted to the lord chancellor 
Loftus and the earl of Corke, who were sworn into office on 
the twenty-sixth day of October 1629. These lords justices 
were the firm and conscientious opponents of the Romanists. 
Lamenting the ill-timed lenity of Falkland, and desirous of 
signalizing their administration by imposing some effective 
restraints upon that party, they threatened to execute with 
rigour the penal statutes against all absentees from the pro* 
testant worship. This design was, however, abandoned at the 
special command of the king. But a tumult having been 
shortly after excited in Dublin by an unsuccessful attempt to 
disperse a meeting of Carmelite friars, who appeared in the 
habits of their order, and infused sedition into the minds of 
their auditors, instructions were transmitted from the English 
council to suppress such assemblies, and to dissolve their 
chapels and monasteries. Fifteen religious houses were ao 
oordingly seized and confiscated ; and the popish college re- 
cently erected in the metropolis was converted into a protest- 
ant seminary, and annexed to the University. The celebrated 
station of St. Patrick's Purgatory in Lough Derg was also 
suppressed by these zealous governors. Though demolished 
by command of the pope, above a century and a half before, 
it had been subsequently re-established, and continued to at- 
tract crowds of ignorant devotees, and to fill the coffers of the 
attendant monks. By an order of the lords justices and privy 
council, dated the thirteenth of September 1632, the reverend 
fraternity were dispersed, their cells demolished, and the mys- 
terious cavern in which the purgatorial penances of the pil- 
grims were performed, was exposed to the light of day.< 4 > 

* Richardson's Folly of Pilg. p. 44. It is worthy of notice that in Oc- 
tober 1688, the queen, (of the Bourbon family and a bigoted Roman ca- 
rbolic,) in an autograph letter to the lord deputy Wenjwortb, requested trim 


The time now drew nigh when the last portion of the to* 
luntary subsidy became due. The necessities of the state 
continued as urgent as ever. None of the stipulated graces 
had been as yet conferred. The complaints of the people 
were becoming louder and more general ; and the difficulty, 
so perplexing to Charles, again occurred, of supplying his 
wants without either summoning a parliament, or irrevocably 
granting the promised concessions. To the adoption of either 
of these alternatives Charles was decidedly averse. He bad 
experienced the vexatious firmness of three parliaments in 
England, all of which he had been induced to dissolve under 
most disagreeable circumstances. He naturally dreaded * 
similar issue from an assembly of his Irish subjects, who, at 
he himself acknowledged, " had some ground to demand more 
than it was fit for him to give."<*> He bitterly regretted too, 
having consented to the petition of rights in England, the 
force of which important statute he was daily endeavouring 
to evade ; and he hesitated to impose a similar restraint on 
the undue exercise of his prerogative in Ireland, which the 
confirmation of the graces would have at once effected. 

In this difficulty, he had recourse to Sir Thomas, now Lord 
Viscount Wentworth, who had lately become one of the most 
confidential advisers of the crown, and had already proved 
himself fitted, by his political tergiversation, to support, and 
by his address and vigour to execute, the most despotic of its 
measures. This talented statesman was appointed lord depu- 
ty in January 1632 ; and though for a time the king could 

to restore St Patrick's purgatory ; assuring him that the people would use 
it modestly, and that it would give her " un grand plaisir." Wentworth 
very dexterously evaded this indiscreet request, stating, among other reasons, 
that " the place was in the midst of the great Scottish plantations," and 
that such a procedure on his part M might furnish them [the Scots] with 
something to say in prejudice and scandal to his majesty's government*" 
Straff. Lett. ii. 221. The queen had thus been early in correspondence 
with the Irish Romanists, by some of whom, probably the Earl of Antrim, 
she had been urged to make this application to the deputy. 
* Straff; Lett. i. 288. 

A.P. 1682. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 151 

not spare him from his presidentship of the north of Eng- 
land, yet, by his advice and influence, the administration of 
Irish affairs was, from this period, conducted. Until he would 
be able personally to assume the reins of government, the 
English council proposed, that the voluntary subsidy should 
continue to be paid for some time longer. To this measure 
the lords justices, in common with the majority of the nation, 
were strongly opposed. But convinced that the Irish army 
must at all events be supported, they once more recurred to 
their favourite project, and urged the propriety of enforcing 
the fines ordered, by the statute of Elizabeth, to be paid by 
absentees from the established worship. This alternative was 
rejected by Charles and his deputy, as a most invidious and 
inefficient mode of providing for the wants of the army. After 
various intrigues and altercations, it was finally agreed that 
an additional contribution of twenty thousand pounds should 
be paid into the treasury in four quarterly payments. To 
this renewal of their burdens the nation consented the more 
readily, in the hope, that the arrival of Wentworth would be 
a signal for the final ratification of the graces, so often pro- 
mised, but so long withheld. 

The lord deputy at length reached Ireland, and was sworn 
into office, on the twenty-fifth of July 1683. It would be 
foreign to the present narrative, to enter into any detail of 
the various measures of this enterprising but tyrannical 
governor, in administering the civil affairs of the kingdom. 
Suffice it to say, that he exalted the royal prerogative on the 
ruin of the rights and liberties of the people ; and systemati- 
cally despised the restraints of law, justice and precedent, 
whenever they interfered with the execution of his favourite 
plans. Notwithstanding the previous opposition, he succeed- 
ed in prolonging the voluntary contribution for another year* 
In July 1634, he called a parliament, which by intrigue and 
intimidation he rendered most obsequious to his wishes. An 
extraordinary supply of about L.300,000 was freely voted ; 
and though, in the second session, the commons presented a 


remonstrance addressed to the king, urging the ratification of 
the graces, as a reasonable return for their extraordinary liber- 
ality, Wentworth at first evaded their application ; but at 
length, in the jnore important particulars, he absolutely re- 
fused to grant their request, or even to transmit their remon- 
strance to England. For this service, Charles was peculiarly 
grateful. Though repeatedly pledged to confirm the grant 
of these long-promised concessions, he had early resolved to 
violate his solemn engagement. He therefore rejoiced the 
more that his faithful servant had accomplished this object, 
and at the same time, had taken upon himself the odium of 
such an unprincipled transaction. **> 

In the third session of this Parliament, one of the most 
important of these favours, so far as the interests of the Scot* 
tish settlers were concerned, was passed into a law. The 
fortieth grace purported to provide, that the Scottish under- 
takers should be made " free deniiens" of Ireland. This 
privilege was now secured to diem by the act "for the na- 
turalisation of all the Scottish nation which were born before 
his lata majesty King James's accession to the throne of 
Knglaml ami Ireland ;*— these persons having been previously 
Regarded by the common law as foreigners, and therefore in- 
capable of legally acquiring or possessing property, within the 
realm of Ireland. The preamble of this act contains a me- 
morable teatimony ftom the legislature, to the value of the 
Heititinh colonial* in promoting the peace and welfare of the 
kingdom* lite king is assured by the parliament, that the 
grievance about to be removed was " a sad discouragement 
ami dtaheavtoning unto many of your said subjects of Seot- 
laml % that otherwise would have planted themselves here, for 
the Anther emitting^ strengthening, and securing this your 

* On tta ****** Ctafe* diet wrote to We iw e Hk , osier tea of 
tVi >«, IOH,— « Year fert jwHhc ftiyanii Wt gmi mt » great 4mt of 
*»»«*twtt«t % »*4 ewpemfty for fc«<yajy <* *** <**T <* • wef ibstj ty»- 
iiwfo** w*t «f ti*mt *mTt*M*mWt fftacta ttatkat fxeffe espectei htm 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 153 

highness 1 said realm, against rebels at home, and all foreign 
invasion." w 

The attention of Wentworth was by no means confined to 
civil affairs. The state of the Irish church was commended 
to his especial care by Laud, now elevated to the see of 
Canterbury. The archbishop and the deputy were of conge- 
nial tempers and dispositions. Equally servile and despotic, 
Laud was, moreover, actuated by the most furious bigotry, 
and the most puerile superstition. Proud, arbitrary, and 
unfeeling, he urged conformity with a higher hand than any 
former prelate. The puritan party were peculiarly obnoxious 
to him, as well for their steady attachment to oivil liberty* 
as for their uniform opposition to the unscriptural power as- 
sumed by the English church. He therefore opposed, and 
studiously avoided, the slightest approach to their sentiments, 
whether in matters of doctrine or of worship. With this 
view, he patronized the Arminian in opposition to the CaU 
vinistic system, then universally maintained by the puritans, 
in common with the vast majority of the members of the 
jestablished church. He encouraged the introduction of showy 
and superstitious rites into divine worship, and every innova- 
tion brought the protestant service into nearer approxima- 
tion to the Romish ritual. Under this rule, the communion 
table was converted into an altar, railed in, and placed at the 
.cast end of the church, adorned with candlesticks and cruci- 
fixes, and made the object of adoration. (8) Pictures, images, 

7 10 Cha. i. sess. a chap. 4. apod Irish Stat ii. 100. 

8 Prynne'8 Cant. Doom. p. 100, 1. Neal, ii. 221. Tbe reader will be 
amused with the following sapient reasons, propounded by the bishop of 
Bath and Wells in 1633, under the sanction of Laud, to show the ne- 
cessity of railing in tbe communion-table, which previously remained in 
the centre of the church, and of placing it on an deration where the altar 
stood in popish times. 

" 2. There should be some difference between tbe placing of the Lord's 
table in tbe church, and the placing of a man's table in his house. 

" 3. It is not fit the people should sit above God's table, or be above 
tbe priest when he consecrateth. 


and lighted tapers, were introduced into churches. The 
tutelary protection of saints and angels, and their consequent 
invocation, were publicly inculcated. The real pfesence of 
Christ in the communion, the necessity of auricular confes- 
sion, and the efficacy of absolution, were openly maintained. 
While the Sabbath was commanded to be profaned by the 
HP-publication of the ' Book of Sports," exhorting the people 
jto amuse themselves with certain games and recreations on 
this day of the Lord ; holidays and festivals were revered and 
observed as days of especial sanctity. w In a word, there was 
scarcely an article of the church, viewed as distinct from the 
*ourt, of Rome, which did not receive the sanction and support 
of Laud, or his adherents. No wonder then a very general 
impression prevailed, that under the auspicies of the arch- 
bishop, to whom the ofier of a cardinal's hat had been twice 
made by the. pope, the English church was about to apostatize 
from the truth, and relapse into the bosom of the mother- 
church. < w > 

To silence the opposition so generally manifested against 
these unwarrantable and unscriptural innovations, the arm of 
spiritual power was vigorously exercised. Public lecturers, a 
class of preachers elected and supported by the people, and 
chaplains entertained by opulent private families, were alike 
prohibited, as not being sufficiently under prelatical control. 
Afternoon sermons and catechetical exercises were abolished ; 

"4. If it stand not thus, and be not railed in, it will be subject to many 
profanations and abuses ; church-wardens will keep their accounts on the 
Lord's table ; parishioners will sit round about it, and talk of their parish- 
businesses ; schoolmasters will teach their boys to write upon this table* 
and the boys will lay their hats, satchels, and books upon it, and in their 
master's absence, ait upon the same ; many will sit or lean irreverently 
against the Lord's table in sermon-time ; glasiers will knock it full of nail* 
boles ; and dogs will defile the Lord's table." 

* Prynne, ut sup. p. 153, et seq. 

io May's Hist, ef the Pari. p. 22, & Heylin's Laud, p. 252. Lord 
Falkland, in one of bis speeches, made the following just observation with 
respect to Laud and his party ; — " it seemed their work was, to try bow 
much of a papist might be brought in without popery." 

AJ>. 1684. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 155 

and the privilege of public preaching was permitted only to a 
few approved ministers. Every book not in accordance with 
the prevalent spirit of error and of intolerance was suppressed, 
or carefully expurgated ; and even those works, formerly re- 
puted most sound and pious, did not escape. (ll) The clergy 
mho hesitated to comply with the arbitrary commands of their 
superiors were summarily suspended or deposed. So violent 
was the rage for conformity, that even the French and Dutch 
protestant ehurcheson London were compelled to adopt the 
JSnglish ritual, in preference to that of their respective na- 
tional churches, which they had used without molestation, 
aince the commencement of the Reformation. And lest the 
formalities or just restraints of law might retard this career of 
audacious innovation, the high-commission court furnished a 
seasonable and appropriate engine, by which the designs of 
the predominant party, though ever so illegal, were carried 
into immediate execution. The fines imposed on conscien- 
tious non-conformists by this unconstitutional tribunal were 
enormous ; and the punishments awarded against those who 
offered the slightest opposition to the tyrannical proceedings 
of Laud and his faction, were frequently of unparalleled seve- 
rity (12) Such was the system introduced and patronized by 
die archbishop in England, and which he laboured to extend 
successively to Ireland and to Scotland. The chief aim, in- 
deed, of the life and exertions of this ' Patriarch of die 
West/ as he affected to call himself, was to establish, upon 
the most intolerant basis, a complete uniformity in govern- 
ment and worship over the three kingdoms. Prelacy and the 
liturgy, civil and ecclesiastical despotism, he longed to see 
universally triumphant over the consciences and liberties of 
the people. 

The state of the Irish church early attracted the attention 
of Laud. It was still in a deplorable condition, and present- 
ed, even at this period, the same general features of indolence, 

» Prrnne, 1667. Brodie, ii 296-306. » Ncsl, ii. 137, 188. 



worldliness,and consequent inefficiency, which it had exhibited 
in the early stages of its history. Though the sees were 
filled with protestant prelates, yet the majority of them ap- 
peared more solicitous to advance their private interests, than 
to promote the cause of true religion. The parish churches, 
and even the cathedrals, were, chiefly through their neglect, 
in a wretched state of dilapidation, and a great part of their 
revenues was alienated from their successors, and appro- 
priated to the aggrandisement of their families. The incomes 
of the inferior clergy were reduced to an inadequate amount, 
and in many instances wholly enjoyed by lay-impropriators : 
" And as scandalous livings naturally make scandalous 
ministers, the clergy of the established church were generally 
ignorant and unlearned, loose and irregular in their lives and 
conversations, negligent of their cures, and were careless of 
observing uniformity and decency in divine worship." (13) 

The ecclesiastical courts were proverbially oppressive and 
profligate in their proceedings. " Bribes went about almost 
barefaced, and the exchange they made of penance for money, 
was the worst sort of simony ; being in effect the very same 
abuse, that gave the world such a scandal, when it was so in- 
decently practised in the church of Rome, and so opened the 
way to the Reformation." (U) The primitive discipline of the 
church was entirely suppressed ; and any attempt to revive 
even the scanty power which the English church possesses, was 
certain to encounter the most violent opposition. The conse- 
quences of this neglect and mismanagement were too apparent. 
The reformed faith had indeed been spreading, but this re- 
sult was rather the effect of colonization than of conversion. 
All the ordinary means of its propagation were, except in a 
few particular districts, unaccountably neglected, while, at 
the same time, violent prejudices were excited against it, as 
well by the occasional intolerance of the state, as by the sor- 
didness and immorality of its ministers, and the oppressions 

" Carte, i. 68. M Burnett JLife of Bedell, p. 69. 

A.D. 1*34. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 157 

of its church courts. But while the reformed faith was ad- 
vancing so slowly, the Roman catholic church maintained 
an undisturbed ascendency over the minds, and in the affec- 
tions, of the people. In despite of statutes and proclama- 
tions, often indeed only formal, the Romish worship, with all 
its attendant ceremonials, was regularly and openly observed* 
The hierarchy, though almost extinct in the sister kingdoms, 
was complete in all its parts ; every see had its prelate, and 
every parish its priest. Archbishops and bishops exercised, 
almost without control, their ecclesiastical jurisdiction ; and 
notwithstanding the poverty of the country, they appear to 
have enjoyed ample revenues. Chapels were built where 
necessary ; and where the protestant minister was non-resi- 
dent, as was too generally the case, their service was conducted 
in the deserted church. Speaking the language of the people, 
and sharing in their perils and discouragements, they main- 
tained their influence unimpaired ; and easily defeated the 
few and inefficient efforts which were made to expose the errors 
of popery, and extend the knowledge of the truth. 

The only part of the kingdom, in which a more pleasing 
prospect presented itself, was Ulster. Here the protestant 
ministers were more zealous and faithful ; the people better 
instructed ; religious worship was more regularly maintained ; 
and the truth was consequently advancing with surer and 
more rapid steps. This superiority of the northern province 
is chiefly to be ascribed to the character of the colonists by 
whom it was principally peopled, and the diligence and labours 
of the pastors who accompanied them to their new abode. 
The influence of the bishops, who at this period resided in 
Ulster, all of whom were doctrinal puritans, must not be over- 
looked. At their head was Ussher, learned, tolerant and dis- 
interested ; the most distinguished ornament of his church 
and nation, and as Livingston significantly adds, " a godly 
man, although a bishop." He was supported by Downham, 
bishop of Deny, the acute and zealous antagonist of error in 
doctrine, and laxity in discipline; together with Knox of 


Raphoe, and Echlin of Down and Connor, two Scotchmen, 
whose extensive dioceses were supplied with many countrymen, 
discharging the arduous duties of the ministry with exemplary 
fidelity and success. To these prelates was added Bedell, 
who, from being provost of Dublin college, was, in the year 
1629> elevated to the joint see of Kilmore and Ardagh. He 
was a highly estimable prelate, and a most upright and ami- 
able man, exemplary in his private life, laborious and strict 
in his public duties, a faithful and constant preacher, the 
decided enemy of every ecclesiastical abuse, and the generous 
patron of every diligent and conscientious minister. The 
state of his diocese, situated on the verge of Ulster, was truly 
deplorable. The following statement, sent by him to Laud 
in the month of April 1690, presents a melancholy view of 
the religious condition of the kingdom at this period. 

" To speak much ill matter in a few words," writes Bedell, 
" the state of my dioceses is very miserable. The cathedral 
church of Ardagh, one of the most ancient in Ireland, and 
said to be built by St. Patrick, together with the bishop's 
house there, down to the ground. The church here [at Kil- 
more in the county of Cavan] built ; but without bell or 
steeple, font or chalice. The parish churches all in a man* 
ner ruined, and unroofed, and unrepaired. The people, saving 
k few British planters here and there, which are not the tenth 
part of the remnant, obstinate recusants. A popish clergy 
more numerous by far than we, and in full exercise of all 
jurisdiction ecclesiastical, by their vicar-general and officials ; 
who are so confident as they excommunicate those that come 
to our courts, even in matrimonial causes: which affront 
hath been offered myself by the popish primate's vicar- 
general, for which I have begun a process against him. The 
primate himself lives in my parish, within two miles of my 
house ; the bishop in another part of my diocese farther off. 
Every parish hath its priest ; and some two or three a-piece ; 
and so their mass-houses also : in some places mass is said in 
the churches. Friars there are in divers places, who go 

A.D. 1680. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 159 

about, though not in their habit ; and by their importunate 
begging impoverish the people, who indeed are generally 
very poor, as from that cause, so from their paying double 
tithes to their own clergy and ours, from the dearth of corn, 
and the death of their cattle these late years, with the con- 
tributions to their soldiers and their agents : and, which 
they forget not to reckon among other causes, the oppression 
of the courts ecclesiastical, which in very truth, my lord, I 
cannot excuse, and do seek to reform. For our own there are 
seven or eight ministers in each diocese [of Kilmore and 
Ardagh] of good sufficiency ; and, which is no small cause 
of the continuance of the people in popery still, English ; 
which have not the tongue of the people, nor can perform 
any divine offices, or converse with them ; and which hold, 
many of them, two, three, four or more vicarages a-piece ; 
even the clerkships themselves are in like manner conferred 
upon the English ; and sometimes two or three or more upon 
one man, and ordinarily bought and sold, or let to farm. 
His majesty is now with the greatest part of this country, a* 
to their hearts and consciences, king but at the pope's dis- 
cretion." — " Here was a melancholy prospect," adds bishop 
Burnet, his biographer, " to a man of so good a mind aa 
Bedell, enough to have disheartened him quite, if he had 
not had a proportioned degree of spirit and courage to sup- 
port him under so much weight." <"> 

This faithful prelate, accordingly, commenced with vigour 
the work of reformation. He first resigned' the see of Ar- 
dagh, and then persuaded the majority of his clergy to relin- 
quish their pluralities. He rectified the abuses of the eccle- 
siastical courts, and met with his clergy in synod, where 
they drew up a series of excellent canons for the regulation 
of the diocese. He enforced strict residence, and exercised a 
minute inspection over the lives and labour of the ministers. 
He was principally distinguished for his judicious and aealoua 

" Bwntt* Bedell! pp. &4. 


efforts to instruct the native Irish. Little, if any thing, had 
as yet been done for this numerous portion of the population, 
who were viewed as unfit for education, and capable of being re- 
strained by force or influenced by fear alone. The New Testa- 
ment and the book of Common-prayer had indeed been trans- 
lated into their vernacular tongue. But the publication of these 
books in Irish was of comparatively little profit to the people, 
through the want of elementary schools for their education, and 
the ignorance of the language among the protestant clergy. 

Bedell, who has been well styled ' the Tyndal of Ireland/ 
early perceived and lamented this neglect of the native 
population. Though an Englishman, and previously un- 
acquainted with the circumstances of this country, he had 
no sooner entered on his duties as provost of Trinity Col- 
lege, than he established an * Irish lecture/ for preparing 
young men to preach in Irish among the natives. When 
he removed to his bishoprick he prosecuted the same object 
with untiring zeal, notwithstanding the serious troubles in 
which his benevolent and disinterested labours involved 
him. Though in his sixtieth year, he commenced with 
ardour the study of the Irish language. The services of his 
cathedral were on one part of the Sabbath regularly con- 
ducted in that tongue. He compiled and printed, in English 
and Irish, a catechetical summary of Christian doctrine, with 
forms of prayer and scriptural extracts, which he studiously 
dispersed through his diocese. He engaged his clergy to 
establish schools in every parish ; and to his singular praise 
be it recorded, he resolved to procure the translation of the 
whole Bible into Irish, and to publish it, at his own expense, 
for the benefit of his adopted countrymen. Though by pro- 
fession an episcopalian, he had too much of the puritanic 
spirit to be generally popular with the bigoted churchmen 
around him. He disliked the use of his episcopal vestments, 
and was decidedly opposed to instrumental music in Christian 
worship. He preached twice every Sabbath, and catechised 
regularly in the afternoon. He read the psalms in divine 

A.D. 1680. CHURCH IN IRELAND. l6l 

service, like the other portions of the word of God, without 
responses ; and though punctual in his use of the common 
prayer-book in the church, he never employed it in conduct- 
ing his domestic worship. Like Ussher he maintained the 
identity of bishop and presbyter. He ordained no individual to 
the ministry without the consent of his clergy, whom he styled 
brethren and fellow-presbyters ; and he deemed it irregular to 
exercise his episcopal functions beyond his own diocese. (16) 

While these peculiarities were generally noticed to his 
disadvantage, the vigour and impartiality, with which he 
prosecuted the work of reformation, created him many ene- 
mies. His chancellor commenced a suit at law against 
him for presuming to sit in the courts held in his own 
name, and there enforce the ancient discipline of the 
church ; a step which he had been induced to take, in con- 
sequence of the gross injustice and oppression which he found 
in them. This step, with several others equally decided, 
which he took to rectify the abuses prevailing around him, 
alienated from him for a time the affection of Ussher, who, 
as bishop Burnet alleges, " had too gentle a soul to manage 
that rough work of reforming abuses, and therefore he left 
things as he found them." < I7) In this spirit, unworthy of 
his great name, the primate soon after apprized Bedell, that 
" the tide went so high against him in regard to pluralities 
and non-residence, that he could assist him no more." To 
this disheartening intimation the latter nobly replied, " that 
he was. resolved, by the help of God, to try if he could stand 
by himself." This he was scarcely able to effect. His plans 
of reform were frequently opposed and thwarted by the civil 
authorities, as well as by his spiritual superiors. The clergy- 
man whom he engaged to translate the Bible into Irish, was, 
for some trivial ecclesiastical delinquency, deposed without a 
hearing by the officials of the primate, and even imprisoned. 

»« Burnet's Bedell, pp. 88, 113, 135-6, 389. 

»7 Ibid. p. 67. . j C * 

VOL. I. M 


This most important work was necessarily suspended ; another 
half-century elapsed before it was resumed and completed ; 
die oppressions of the church-courts were proverbially grievous; 
and pluralities and non-residence continued to paralyse the 
efficiency of the established church. Bedell's insulated and 
unsupported efforts, therefore, though in themselves judicious 
and well-directed, were of no avail to ameliorate the wretched 
aspect which the church presented, when he first entered on 
his episcopal functions. 

Such was the state of the Irish church, even in the most 
favourable parts of the kingdom, when Laud turned his at- 
tention to Ireland, as another field on which to establish that 
system of doctrine and worship which he was so anxiously 
labouring to introduce into both the sister kingdoms. Im- 
pressed as he was with the most extravagant ideas of the 
Wealth and splendour, the canonical subordination and rigor- 
ous conformity which ought to prevail in the protestant, as they 
did in the popish, church, he could not fail to be disappointed 
and mortified when he found the Irish establishment so desti- 
tute of these characteristics of ecclesiastical superiority. In- 
stead of ornamented structures, he learned that the churches 
and even the cathedrals were, for the most part, ruined and 
desolate. The clergy were poor, ignorant and little respected ; 
and what was a more serious defect, he found they entertained 
no great reverence for their spiritual superiors, nor were they 
punctual in their use of those garments, postures and other 
ritual observances, which Laud viewed as essential to the 
validity of divine ordinances. And even where the clergy 
were more learned, respectable and influential, he had the 
mortification to find them Calvinistic in doctrine and puri- 
tanical in principle, especially on a cardinal point of Laud's 
creed, — the extent of ecclesiastical authority. These were 
heresies of the darkest hue in the eyes of the intolerant arch- 
bishop, though directly taught in the public and authorised 
confession. He accordingly resolved to lose no time and to 
spare no exertion in re-modelling the Irish church ; and in 


the prosecution of this object, he acted in the same 
manner which had already characterised his conduct towards 
the other established churches of the empire. 

The first instance in which he interfered in the religious 
concerns of this country was indicative of the course which 
he intended to pursue. In the beginning of the year 1631, 
Downham, bishop of Deny, published, in Dublin, a treatise 
cm the Covenant of grace, in which he condemned the Armi- 
nian doctrines in reference to the total and final apoetaey of 
true believers.* 1 * No sooner had this elaborate performance 
reached the hands of Laud, than, not content with causing it 
to be seized and suppressed in England, he wrote to Ussher 
in the month of August, ordering him to call in the work in 
Ireland also ; and directing him, for the future, to take espe- 
cial care that nothing be published contrary to those Armi- 
nian views which he was so anxious to uphold and propagate. 
It is truly painful to find the venerable primate again betray- 
ed into servile compliance, by his timid and irresolute spirit 
Through fear of displeasing this haughty and powerful pre- 
late, Ussher meanly lent himself to the violent suppression of 
a work which was not only in perfect accordance with his own 
sentiments, but also with the accredited standards of die 
church of which he was the highest officer. In his letter 
to Laud on this occasion, dated from Drogheda on the 
eighth of November following, there is manifested a tone 
of servility, and a spirit of indifference to the truth, deroga- 
tory to his character for candour and integrity. <W) 

1* Both Prynne and Collitr speak of thit publication as a work en 
" Perseverance." But the biahop wrote no work with that title, or pro- 
fessedly on that subject. In the year stated in the text, he published 
" The Covenant of Grace, or an Exposition upon Luke, u 73, 4, 5," 
Dublin 1681, 8ro., which I conjecture is the work that roused the indigna- 
tion of Laud. The exposition of the latter part of htt text would neces- 
sarily lead him to treat of the perseverance of the saint*. 

" The following is Collier's account of this affiur. " This year Usher, 
lord primate of Ireland, published his history of GoUeschalcus. In this 


To accomplish his designs in Ireland more effectually, 
Laud induced Charles to commit the government of it to 
Wentworth, as one on whose vigorous and entire concurrence 
in his measures he could place the fullest confidence. The 
new deputy did not disappoint these expectations. He never 
failed to support Laud in all his plans, and to carry into ef- 
fect every, innovation proposed by the archbishop. On as- 
suming the reins of government, he commenced a series of 
preparatory inquiries into the existing state of the church ; 
and in the month of January 1634, he communicated the 
result to Laud. (20) Having obtained the requisite information, 
he immediately proceeded to apply " the best and speediest 
remedies for reformation that may be." To relieve the im- 
poverished and destitute state of the church, he issued com- 
missions for repairing its cathedrals and other places of wor- 
ship ; he commenced with vigour the restitution of its tem- 
poralities ; he prevailed with many of the nobility to resign 
their impropriations, and persecuted those who refused to 
comply ; and,' in his first parliament, he procured the enact- 
ment of various laws, by which the rights and emoluments of 
the clerical corporation were abundantly secured. He enter- 
ed warmly into Laud's measures for discountenancing the 

tract he undertook Vossius in some measure upon the Pelagian contro- 
versy ; and here his pen run out a little in defence of the predestinarian 
scheme. Not long before, Downham, bishop of Deny, published a dis- 
course concerning Perseverance. In this performance there were some 
passages that clashed directly with the king's declaration. Usher's book 
being written in Latin, did less disservice ; and beside, some regard was 
shown to the eminence of his station. However, to make the primate 
sensible of the king's displeasure, he was commanded to call in Down, 
ham '8 book. But his majesty's letter not coming to hand till the middle 
of October, most of the copies were dispersed and out of reach. How- 
ever, for preventing these prohibited sallies, Bedell, bishop of Kilmore, 
was ordered to overlook the press and keep it inoffensive." Ecc. Hist, 
ii. 750. A measure worthy of popish councils ! The curious reader 
will rind Ussber's reply to Laud on this occasion, in Pryn. Cant. Doom, 
p. 172. 

80 Straff. Lett. i. 187, 8. 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 165 

Calvinistic and puritanic clergy, against the heads of whom, 
Ussher and Bedell, he had been violently prejudiced, even 
before his arrival in Ireland. To counteract their influence, 
which was considerable, he brought over with him, in the ca- 
pacity of private chaplain, John Bramhall, a man of decided 
talents and extensive erudition ; but a violent and intolerant 
churchman, whom Cromwell, from his resemblance in spirit 
and temper to Laud, afterwards styled ' the Canterbury of 
Ireland. 1 This active and able minister soon proved himself 
an efficient auxiliary in carrying into effect the views of his 
patron. Shortly after his settlement in Dublin, he forward- 
ed, to Laud an account of the state of the Irish church, 
which amply corroborates that given by Bedell. He thus 
writes: — 

" Right reverend father, my most honoured lord, presuming 
partly upon your license, but especially directed by my lord 
deputy's command, I am to give your Fatherhood a brief ac- 
count of the present state of the poor church of Ireland, 
such, as our short intelligence here, and your lordship's 
weighty employments there, will permit. First, for the 
fabrics ; it is hard to say whether the churches be more ruin- 
ous and sordid, or the people irreverent. Even in Dublin, 
the metropolis of this kingdom, and seat of justice, to. begin 
the inquisition where the reformation will begin, we find our 
[one ?] parochial church converted to the lord deputy's 
stable ; a second . to a nobleman's dwelling-house ; the choir 
of a third to a tennis court, and the vicar acts the keeper. 
In Christ's church, the principal church in Ireland, whither 
the lord-deputy and council repair every Sunday, the vaults 
from one end of the minster to the other are made into tip- 
pling rooms for beer, wine, and tobacco, demised all to popish 
recusants, and by them to others, much frequented in time 

of divine service. — — Next for the clergy, I find few 

footsteps yet of foreign differences, so I hope it will be an 
easier task not to admit them, than to have them ejected. 


Bui I doubt much whether die clergy be very orthodox,* 1 * 
and could wish both the articles and canons of the ehureh of 
England were established have by act of Parliament or state ; 
that as we live all under one king, so we might, both in doc- 
trine and discipline, observe an uniformity. The inferior 
ssrt of ministers are below all degrees of contempt, in respect 
of their poverty and ignorance. The boundless heaping to** 
grther of benefices by commandants and dispensations in the 
superiors, is but too apparent ; yea, even often by plain usurpa- 
tions and indirect compositions made between the patrons, as 
well eoolesiastical as lay, and the incumbents ; by which the 
least part, many times not above forty shillings, rarely ten 
pounds in the year, is reserved for him that should serve at the 
altar ; insomuch that it is affirmed, that by all or some of these 
means, one bishop in die remoter parts of the kingdom doth 
hold three and twenty benefices with cure. Generally their 
residence is as little as their livings. Seldom any suitor pe- 
titions for less than three vicarages at a time."* 99 * 

The activity and seal ofBramhall did not long remain unre- 
warded. In the year 1634, Wentworth made him bishop of 
Deny in place of the learned and pious Downham ; as in the 
preceding year he had advanced John Leslie, bishop of Orkney 
in Scotland, another violent churchman, to the see of Raphee, 
vacant by the death of the mild and tolerant Knox. All the 
appointments in the church were henceforth of a similar cha- 
racter. None but men of Arminian and intolerant princi- 
ples were promoted ; while, at the same time, every means 
was employed to discountenance and harass, not merely the 
professed non-conformists, but even all moderate episcopa- 
lians, who did not folly coincide in the views of doctrine, 
and modes of worship, now obtaining the ascendancy in Eng* 

21 To be " orthodox," in the view of Bramhall and Lend, was to 
maintain anti-puritanic, Arminian, and semi-papistical principles, 
a Comer's Ecc Hist. ii. 759. 


The state of the university alio underwent revision. Land 
bed already introduced into Oxford, of which he was chan- 
cellor, various innovations, all leading towards Arminisnkm 
and popery ; and Dublin was now subjected to a similar de- 
terioration, Wentworth had complained to Laud, among 
other evils in the religious state of Ireland, that the college 
u was extremely out of order, partly by means of their sta- 
tutes which must be amended, and partly under the govern- 
ment of a weak provost" This disorderliness, it is more 
than probable, consisted solely in the leaven of puritanism 
which had existed in this seminary from its foundation. Its 
first four provosts were decided puritans. Bedell succeeded 
the last of these, and presided over the college for two years ; 
during which period he was strict in his government, and ex- 
emplary for his attention to the Christian education of the 
young. He was succeeded by Dr. Robert Ussher, to whom 
Wentworth alludes as the ' weak provost.' He was related 
to the primate, and entertained the same sentiments with his 
predecessors and his illustrious kinsman, on the doctrinal 
points on which the church was divided. The college, thus 
governed, had of course exercised considerable influence in 
forming the minds of the Irish clergy, and rendering them 
averse to the innovations of Laud. Until mis influence 
should be intrusted to other hands, it was evidently impos- 
sible to effect any extensive or permanent alteration of the 
national faith. A change, therefore, both in the provost and 
the statutes, became necessarily a part of Wentworth's plana 
of reformation. The former was accordingly promoted to be 
bishop of Kildare ; and Chappell, a violent Arminian from 
England, who had been previously advanced by Laud to be 
dean of Cashel, was substituted in his place. w The new 

» Chappell wu of Christ's College, Cambridge. He bad been tutor 
to Milton in 1624, 5. Johnson's Live*, L 64. He held the divinity 
act with the celebrated John Cotton, afterwards of Boston, New England. 
Mather's Hist, of New Eng. Book iii. p. 17- He was a noted Pelagian 
and Arminian. Pryn. Cant. Doom. p. 359. 


provost urged conformity with an unsparing intolerance ; but 
such serious divisions were thereby created, that it became 
necessary, in a short time, to remove this obnoxious governor 
to another situation. The office of chancellor was conferred 
upon Laud, and the statutes of the college, being probably 
found too favourable to religious liberty, were subjected to his 
revision, and, as altered by him, were soon after established 
by the royal authority. 

But die great object of anxiety, both with the archbishop and 
the deputy, yet remained to be accomplished — the complete 
union of the two churches of England and Ireland. To ac- 
complish this favourite project, various changes were to be effect- 
ed, and many difficulties encountered, sufficient to discourage 
any but the most daring innovators. Above all things, it 
became necessary to abolish the Calvinistic confession, com- 
piled by Ussher, and ratified by parliament twenty years be- 
fore. This measure, it was well known, would be most mor- 
tifying to the primate, and highly obnoxious to the whole 
body of the clergy, who were decidedly Calvinistic. Their 
pride would naturally be offended by the proposal, not merely 
to receive the articles of another church, but even to adopt 
its canons, to the utter annihilation of their independence as 
a national establishment. Yet Wentworth did not hesitate 
to pledge himself for the accomplishment of this delicate and 
difficult task. A convocation of the clergy was, by his or- 
der, summoned to meet, at the same time with the second 
session of the parliament, in the month of November 1 634. 
Prior to its assembling, he took the precaution to consult 
Ussher on the intended union. He proposed to the pri- 
mate that the Irish articles should not be in any way noticed, 
much less annulled, in the approaching convocation ; but that, 
simply to manifest the agreement between this church and 
the sister one of England, the thirty-nine articles of the lat- 
ter should be received and recognised. To this plan, thus 
expounded, Ussher made no objection, conceiving that the two 
confessions were similar in doctrine, and that the proposed 

A.B. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 1 69 

arrangement would merely render them of co-ordinate autho- 
rity in the Irish church. Wentworth and Laud, however, 
had this farther view, which was afterwards maintained by 
Bramhall and his partisans, but to which Ussher and his 
friends never assented, namely, that the intended procedure 
virtually and totally abrogated the Irish articles, and esta- 
blished the English, in their forced interpretation of Ar- 
minianism, as the sole accredited standard of the church's 

The deputy, relying on the concurrence of Ussher, and oc- 
cupied in appeasing the indignant commons, who were warmly 
pressing a confirmation of the graces, had not at first attended to 
the proceedings of the convocation. At length having leisure 
to obtain information on the subject, to his great surprise he 
found that the lower house had, by a committee, been exa- 
mining the canons of the English church, marking those 
which they approved, and also those which stood for farther 
deliberation ; and that, into the fifth canon, they had intro- 
duced a recognition of the Irish articles, and enjoined them 
to be received under pain of excommunication. The approv- 
ed canons they had digested into a series, and were about to 
report thereon to the House, with a view to their final adoption. 

Wentworth at once perceived that these proceedings of 
the convocation were directly opposed to his favourite plan, 
and that the most prompt and vigorous measures would be 
required on his part to over-rule their deliberations, which 
savoured too much of a puritanic spirit, and especially to de- 
feat the renewed recognition of the Irish articles. To ac- 
complish this object, he hesitated not to employ the most 
unjustifiable violence. . The conduct of the deputy on this oc- 
casion presents a singular and striking instance of the manner 
in which the proceedings of ecclesiastical councils are influ- 
enced by the civil authorities. Seldom indeed have these 
bodies been characterised by a firm maintenance of their au- 
thority and rights in opposition to the encroachments of the 
state. Presbyterian synods have perhaps been the most uni- 


formly distinguished for the bold and fearless assertion of 
their independence. But the convocation sitting in Dublin 
permitted themselves to be over-ruled in the most insulting 
manner. Their deliberative acts were violently reversed by die 
deputy 9 and their freedom of discussion taken away, without 
a murmur. 

Wentworth, exulting over his victory, forwarded to Laud 
the following account of the manner in which be had accom- 
plished their favourite object So soon as he had ascertained 
the proceedings of the committee of the lower house, he thus 
proceeded : " I instantly sent for dean Andrews, that reve- 
rend clerk, who sat forsooth in the chair at this committee, 
requiring him to bring along the book of canons so noted in 
the margin, together with the draught he was to present that 
afternoon to the House. This he obeyed ; ■ b ut when I 
came to open the book, and run over the deliberandums in 
the margin, I confess I was not so much moved since I 
came into Ireland. I told him, certainly not a dean of Li* 
merick, but an Ananias, had sat in the chair of that 

committee ; however, sure I was, an Ananias had been 

there in spirit, if not in body, with all the fraternities and 
conventicles of Amsterdam ; that I was ashamed and scanda- 
lized with it above measure. I therefore said he should leave 
the book and draught with me ; and I did command him, 
upon his allegiance, that he should report nothing to die 
house from that committee till he heard again from me. 

" Being thus nettled, I gave present directions for a meet- 
ing, and warned the primate, the bishops of Meath, Kilmore, 
Raphoe and Derry, together with dean Leslie the prole* 
cutor, and all those who had been of the committee—— 
to be with me the next morning. 

" Then I publickly told them how unlike churchmen, who 
ought [owed] canonical obedience to their superiors, they had 
proceeded in their committee ; how unheard a part it was for 
a few petty clerks to presume to make articles of faith with- 
out the privity or consent of state or bishop ; what a spirit of 

A.D. 1684. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 17 1 

Brownim and contradiction I observed in their deliberations, 
at if indeed they purposed at once to take away all govern- 
ment and order forth of the church, and to leave every man 
to choose his own high place where liked him best. But 
these heady and arrogant courses, they must know, I was not 
to endure ; nor if they were disposed to be frantic in this dead 
and cold season of the year, would I suffer them either to be 
mad in the convocation or in their pulpits. 

" First, then, I required dean Andrews, as formerly, that 
he should report nothing from the committee to the house. 

u Secondly, I enjoined dean Leslie, their prolocutor, that 
in ease any of the committee should propound any question 
herein, yet that he should not put it, but break up the sitting 
for that time, and acquaint me with all. 

" Thirdly, That he should put no question at all touching 
the receiving or not of the articles of the church of Ireland. 

" Fourthly, That he should put the question for allowing 
and receiving the articles of England, wherein he was by 
name and in writing to take their votes, barely, content or 
not content, without admitting any other discourse at all ; for 
I would not endure that the articles of the church of England 
should be disputed. 

" And finally, because there should be no question in the 
canon that was thus to be voted, I did desire my lord pri- 
mate would be pleased to frame it, and after I had perused 
it, I would send the prolocutor a draught of the canon to be 
propounded, inclosed in a letter of my own. 

" This meeting thus broke off; there were some hot spirits, 
sons of thunder, amongst them, who moved that they should 
petition me for a free synod ; but, in fine, they could not 
agree among themselves who should put the bell about the 
cat's neck, and so this likewise vanished. 

« The primate accordingly framed a canon, which I, not 
so well approving, drew up one myself, more after the words 
of the canon in England, which I held best for me to keep 
as dose to as I could,, and then sent it to my lord. His 


grace came instantly unto me, and told me he feared the 
canon would never pass in such form as I had made it, but 
he was hopeful, as he had drawn it, it might ; he besought 
me therefore to think a little better of it. 

" But I confess, having taken a little jealousy, that his 
proceedings were not open and free to those ends I had my 
eye upon, it was too late now either to persuade or affright 
me. I told his Lordship I was resolved to put it to them in 
those very words, and was most confident there was not six in 
the houses that would refuse them, telling him by the sequel, 
we should see whether his lordship or myself better under- 
stood their minds in that point, and by that I would be con- 
tent to be judged, only for order's sake, I desired his lord- 
ship would vote this canon (24) first, in the upper house of 
convocation, and so voted, then to pass the question beneath 

" Without any delay then, I writ a letter to dean Leslie, 
with the canon enclosed, which accordingly that afternoon was 
unanimously voted, first with the bishops, and then by the 
rest of the clergy, excepting one man, — who singly did de- 
liberate upon the receiving of the articles of England." (25) 

24 The following is a copy of this canon, as it now stands : " For the 
manifestation of our agreement with the church of England in the confes- 
sion of the same Christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments ; We 
do receive and approve the book of articles of religion agreed upon by the 
archbishops and bishops, and the whole clergy, in the convocation holden 
at London in the year of our Lord God 1562, for the avoiding of diver- 
sities of opinion, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion. 
And therefore if any hereafter shall affirm, that any of those articles are, 
in any part, superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not, with a good 
conscience subscribe unto, let him be excommunicated, and not absolved 
before he make a public revocation of his error.'* Irish Can. No. I. 

25 Straff. Lett. i. 343-4.— This solitary champion of the independence 
of his church was probably Hamilton, minister of Ballywalter, who, it is 
certain, was a member of this convocation.— Bramhall in the upper, and 
Leslie in the lower house, were the principal supporters of Wentworth's 
views. Archbishop Vesey, in his life of Bramhall, prefixed to the folio 
edition of his works, states, that if the receiving of the English articles 
had been understood or suspected at the time, to be a virtual repealing of the 

A.D. 1684. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 173 

In this violent and summary manner was the constitution 
of the Irish Episcopal church, as it now stands in doctrine 
and in discipline, finally settled. The thirty-nine articles of 
the English church became the accredited standard of the 
former ; and the latter was regulated by a body of canons, 
selected from those adopted in England, and framed into a 
new series, for the gratification of those prelates who stood 
out for the independence of their national establishment. 
These canons, the first which were in force in Ireland, 
amounted to one hundred in number. {m) They were or- 
dered to be subscribed by every minister, and to be read by 
him publicly in his church once a-year. The indefatigable 
Bedell, in his convocation, brought forward the subject which 
had so deeply engrossed his attention,— of instructing the na- 
tive Irish through the medium of their vernacular tongue. 
He was supported by Ussher and the great majority of his 
brethren. But he was opposed by Bramhall, who, like his 
patron and prototype Laud, was averse to the general educa- 
tion of the people, and who reasoned against the proposal of 

Irish, — the sense afterwards attached to it, the measure would not have 
carried. The clergy were soon sorry for what they had been induced to 
do ; but, as the archbishop adds, " it was now too late to recall so solemn 
an act. Yet some who had a greater kindness for their private opinions 
than the union of two churches, being ashamed to be thus surprised, if not 
plainly outwitted, thought to preserve the reputation of their articles and 
their own, by averring that the articles of England were only received in 
the sense of, and as they might be expounded by, those of Ireland. And 
accordingly some few bishops required subscription, for some time, to both 

88 The Irish canons appear to have been first printed and published in 
the month of September 1685 ; for Sir George Radcliffe thus writes from 
Dublin to bishop Bramhall : " The canons are published in print this 
week ; and by occasion of speaking thereof, there is a panic fear risen in 
this town, as if a new persecution, so they call it, were instantly to be set 
on foot" Rawd. Pap. p. 22. This trepidation and alarm, which the 
mere publication of the canons created in Dublin, and which reached the 
ears of Radcliffe, the master-general of the ordnance, plainly evince the 
prevalence of non-conforming principles at this period, even in the me- 


Bedell on the absurd principle, the application of which had 
already been so fatal to die progress of the truth, — that the 
native Irish were a barbarous and degraded people, unworthy 
and incapable of instruction or civilisation. To the honour 
of the convocation, Bedell so far succeeded, that it was pro- 
vided in the ninety-fourth canon, that " where most of the 
people are Irish, the church-warden shall provide a Bible and 
two Common Prayer-books in the Irish tongue ; and where 
die minister is an Englishman, such a clerk may be chosen 
as shall be able to read die service in Irish." But they took 
no steps to have the Bible translated into Irish, or schools 
established, and ministers provided expressly for the native 
population. These obvious and indispensable measures being 
neglected, it was vain to expect any practical advantages td 
result from this solitary and unsupported enactment. 

Wentworth now possessed uncontrolled sway, both in the 
church and in the state. W) To render this authority more 
efficient, soon after the dissolution of die parliament and eon- 
vocation, he proceeded to erect a high-commission court in 
Dublin, and to confer upon it the tremendous powers pos- 
sessed by a similar court in England. By the aid of this 
unconstitutional tribunal, he was enabled to bring the de- 
cision of almost every question of importance, occurring in 
the courts of law, before himself and his colleagues. ' The 
freedom and property of every individual in the kingdom 
were thus subject to his control ; and by the summary pro- 

*7 Wentworth was fully conscious of the extent of power he 
the representative of royalty. In this letter to Laud, already quoted, giving 
the account of his management of the convocation, he used this remarkable 
expression : — " So as now I can say, the king is as absolute here as any 
prince in the whole world can be, and may be still, if it be not spoiled on 
that ride." Happily for the cause of liberty, this despotic system wa$ 
spoiled in England ; and after many painful struggles, during which, by a 
melancholy coincidence, Wentworth, Laud, and Charles, were all ignomi- 
niously beheaded, the royal prerogative, which the former boasted he 
had rendered so absolute in Ireland, was restrained within constitutional 

AJ>. 1034. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 175 

cesses of this new court, from which there was do appeal, he 
could at once visit, with exemplary punishment, the slightest 
opposition to his measures. The prelates found this engine 
of tyranny peculiarly advantageous for enforcing the observ- 
ance of the recently enacted canons. It was indeed chiefly 
with a view to their accommodation that Wentworth had 
pleaded, both with Laud and Charles, for permission to erect 
such a court. " I hold it most fit," he writes, " that there 
were a high-commission settled here in Dublin, conceiving 
the use of it might be very great to countenance the despised 
state of the clergy, to support ecclesiastical courts and officers, 
to provide for die maintenance of the clergy, and for their 
residence, either by themselves or able curates, to bring the 
people here to a conformity in religion, and in the way of all 
these," — he characteristically concludes, " to raise perhaps a 
good revenue to the crown." t** To all these purposes it was 
in due time applied ; and the presbyterians of Ulster were 
soon made to feel the weight of those new and formidable 
powers, with which the authorities of both church and state 
were now invested* 

* Straff. Lett. i. 186. 

vided in the ninety-fourth canon, that " v. 
people arc Irish, the church-warden shall p- 
two Common Prayer-books in the Irish n 
the minister is an Knglishman, such a c 
as shall he able to read the service in Iri- 
no steps to have the Rible translated ' 
established, and ministers provided e\ 
population. These obvious and indisp* 
neglected, it was vain to expect any 
result from this soli tan' and unsupp- 

\V cut worth now possessed unee 
church and in the state. ii * ) To 
ctlictcut, soon alter the dissolutic 
vocatiou, he proceeded to eroc 
Ouhlm, and to confer upon 
m'smhI h\ a similar court in 
unconstitutional tribunal, 
eision of almost every t|i 
flu* courts of law, bofo 
fiivdom ami propertx 
wne thus subject to 

\\ ."t;\\iM(h U:l 
i\w it^Mx'^ont.tiut* 
ilv i, wMtht \»t I' 

« \jM,\%vn ■■■ 

I'll' tt lit \\\ 

"»|hm| % «,| i 



Stair's application to WaUworth unsuccessful — Lord Castkstewart interferes — 
Suspended ministers restored for six months — Deaths of Welsh and Stewart 
—Conference between Blair and bishop Echlin — Death of Echlin — Is suc- 
ceeded by Hairy Leslie — His visitation sermon — He suspends five other 
ministers—Public discussion at Belfast — Death qfBrice — Ministers embark 
for New-England — Are driven bach — And compelled to fly to Scotland— 
Their reception there — Deaths of Cunningham and Ridge — Increasing ty- 
ranny of WaUworth — His arbitrary proceedings — His attention turned to 
Scotland — State of the Scottish church — Laud's innovations— Book of 
Canons — Liturgy — Riot at Edinburgh — General Assembly at Glasgow— 
Indignation of Charles— He prepares to invade Scotland. 

From the administration of such a governor as Wentworth, 
the presbyterians of Ulster had little ground to hope for re- 
lief. The course which he designed to pursue towards them 
was too plainly discovered in his interview with Blair, already 
described. The haughty deputy, just then entering on his 
government, treated the humble presbyter with contemptuous 
disdain ; and though Blair produced the king's letter, it only 
increased his insolence. Instead of acting on his majesty's 
suggestion of giving the four ministers, unjustly suspended 
by Echlin, a fair trial, he reproached them for their non-con- 
formity, reviled their parent church of Scotland, and refused 
to grant them the least indulgence. Disappointed in this 
quarter, to which they had been for some time anxiously 
looking for relief, the suspended brethren remained in the 
country and among their people. They flattered themselves 
with the hope of the government becoming more tolerant ; 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 177 

and though these expectations were far from being realised, 
several circumstances, in the mean time, led to a temporary 
relaxation of their sentence. Went worth, by rigidly insist- 
ing on the fulfilment of the several covenants of plantation 
under which the northern colonists held their lands, had sub?- 
jected them to great expense, and had even threatened to 
proceed to the forfeiture and seizure of their estates. By 
these measures he had raised, as might be expected, a con- 
siderable ferment in Ulster. The landed proprietors, includ- 
ing many of the nobility, were becoming more and more 
deeply irritated at his harassing proceedings. But lest they 
might prove intractable members of his first parliament, which 
he was then preparing to summon, he deemed it necessary to 
take such steps as, for a time at least, might appease their 
discontents, and allay their just apprehensions. (1) At this 
critical conjuncture, Lord Castlestewart, a zealous patron of 
the northern presby terians, W having visited the deputy, he 
embraced the opportunity of interceding for the restoration of 
the suspended ministers. He suggested how acceptable such 
a measure would be to the Scottish planters, and how likely 

1 Straff. Lett. i. 199, 200. Blair's Life, p. 81. 

• This was the second Lord Castlestewart. He was a baronet before 
hie lather's death, and is better known by the name of Sir Andrew Stewart. 
" He was a firm patron to all Scotchmen in Ireland, especially of the non- 
conforming ministers who had left Scotland on account of the articles of 
the Perth assembly. N Lodge, vi. 243. None of his three sons left any 
male issue ; and the title, after lying dormant for many years, was revived 
in the year 1775, in the descendants of his younger brother, Robert Stewart 
of the Irry, near Stewartstown, in the county of Tyrone. His preaby- 
terianism afterwards exposed him to the suspicious jealousy of Wentworth, 
who, in a letter to the king in 1638, thus speaks of his Lordship ; — " I 
shall observe your majesty's directions concerning my Lord Castlestewart. 
Howbeit, since I was with your majesty, I understand he is an absolute 
separatist, which moves not me to like him the better, or to judge hiss 
further from signing and swearing to their covenant, if he were in place," 
Straff. Lett. ii. 189. The heir apparent of this ancient title has latterly 
embraced the Roman Catholic religion ; — a sad apostacy from the faith of 
bis Irish ancestors ! 

VOL. I. N 


it was to soothe their irritated feelings, and give them A more 
favourable idea of his character and government. Wentworth, 
anxious to avail himself of every expedient which might ensure 
a pliant and peaceable parliament, yielded to the request. 
But as his views extended no farther than to provide for the 
existing emergency, he consented to restore the ministers for a 
limited period only. He accordingly wrote, in the month of 
May 1634, to bishop Echlin, to withdraw, for six months, 
his sentence of suspension. The command was promptly 
obeyed. Blair, Livingston, Dunbar, and Welsh, were there- 
fore once more restored to the exercise of their ministry. 

" When the news of this unexpected freedom was brought 
to me," writes the former of these brethren, " I was so aston- 
ished, that I slept not for three nights thereafter. The first 
of these was wholly spent in admiration; the second in 
thanksgiving to God in fellowship with those of my charge 
who used solemnly to pray with me ; and on the third night, 
we being now at full liberty to exercise our public ministry* 
and the ordinary day of my lecture at Bangor following next, 
I prepared for the work of that day ; when I found a large 
congregation, consisting not only of my own flock, but also 
of many others from neighbouring congregations, who had 
come thither without any advertisement. To these 1 preach- 
ed on Isaiah xxxviii. 15. ' What shall I say ? He hath 
both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it/ At which 
time the people were melted down into tears of joy. — When 
the silenced ministers preached again,* adds Blair, " at the 
monthly meeting, the joy of the people can hardly be ex- 
pressed. The liberty prolonged to us was, through God's 
blessing, well improved by all ; and the people made more 
progress in the ways of God than ever before.'" <3 > 

This general satisfaction was clouded by the death of two 
brethren, who had been most laborious and faithful, and who 
were highly esteemed by all for their work's sake. The for- 

3 Blair's Life, p. 81-2. 

JI.D. 1684. CHTjRCH IN IRELAND. 179 

mer of these was Mr. Welsh of Templepatrick. During the 
period of his suspension, he maintained regular worship with 
his people in his own house ; but his audience being too 
numerous to be accommodated within, he usually preached 
in the door-way, that he might be heard by those standing 
without. By this means he contracted a cold, which, termi- 
nating in consumption, carried him off after much suffering 
on Monday, the twenty-third of June, 1634, not more than 
a month after his restoration to the beloved exercise of the 
ministry. Both Livingston and Blair, with many other 
Christian friends, were with him when he died. " He had 
many gracious and edifying discourses," writes Livingston, 
" as also some wrestlings ; one time when he had said, 
' oh ! for hypocrisy,' Mr. Blair said to the great company of 
Christians present, < See how Satan knibbles at his heel, 
when he is going over the threshhold of heaven.' A little 
after, I being at prayer at the bed-side before him, and the 
word ' victory' coming out of my mouth, he took hold of 
my hand and desired me to cease a little, and clapped both 
his hands and cried out, * victory, victory, victory for ever- 
more P and then desired me to go on in prayer, and within 
a short time he expired." w He left a son, John Welsh, 
worthy of the name, who rose to eminence in the Scottish 
church as minister of Irongray, and was one of those faithful 
ministers, who, after the Restoration, nobly suffered persecu- 
tion for the truths sake. 

The other minister, whose death at this time cast a gloom 
over the brethren, was Mr. Stewart of Donegore. An ample 
and authentic narrative of the closing scenes of the life of this 
" grave and eminently godly minister in the church of Ire- 
land," has been fortunately preserved. {5) It is written with 
such unaffected simplicity, and is so illustrative of the religi- 
ous feelings and sentiments of this period, that no apology 
will be required for its insertion. 

4 Lir. Life, p. 21. 

* Fleming's Fulf. of the Scrip, i. 444—6. 


" Being called to the burial of that excellent man of God, Mr. 
Josiah Welsh, who was his neighbour minister, Mr. Stewart 
stood some time at the grave, as a sad observer of such a thing, 
and to some who were by, said, ' who knows who will be next ?* 
but none answering, he said to them, ' I know,' and thus 
turned away, and went home to Dunagar on his loot, and en* 
tering into the church, did bolt the doors, where he tarried 
some two hours ; and after going to his house, he fell asleep on 
his bed, with an excess of grief, whence he never in health rose 
again, but was buried that day month. When his wife re- 
turned, whom he had left with Mr. Welsh's widow, she in* 
quired what he had been doing ; to whom he said, ' I have 
been taking my leave of the church of Dunagor, and I was 
there taking timber and stones to witness, that in my short 
time I had laboured to be faithful, and that according to my 
light, I have revealed the whole counsel of God to the people.' 
How great a testimony of the conscience was this ! 

" After a fortnight's lying, Mr. Ridge, a choice English 
minister there, came to visit him and said, ' I hope, sir, you 
do not rue that ye have been faithful :' he answered, ' I rue 
nothing, but that I was too long in beginning, (he meant 
his resisting for several years a call to the ministry, to which 
he had been much pressed :) and I will tell you a strange 
thing which hath helped me to be faithful these last seven 
years ; — there hath not one day passed me without thoughts 
of death, and renewed submission to it; yea, this made me 
neglect my body, which should have served the Lord, as if 
it had been the mire in the street, which now troubleth me.' 

" That night when he died, several godly and grave 
Christians were with him, where for a long time he fell in a 
deep silence, which ended with heavy groanings often reiter- 
ated. At last, a Christian there desired to know what 
troubled him, but he refused to tell. At last, being urged, 
he said, ' I shall tell you, my hair stands to behold what I 
see coming on these lands.' And being further pressed, he 
said, * The bloody wars of Germany shall never be balanced 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 181 

with the wan of these three kingdoms. 1 ' What do you 
apeak, sir ?' said one of the company ; to whom he answered, 
' The dead bodies of many thousands, who this day despise 
the glorious gospel, shall lie upon the earth as dung un~ 
buried.' And whilst they asked, ' What then shall become 
of us and our posterity ?' he lifted up his voice and said, 
< He that is for the sword, to the sword ; he that is for cap- 
tivity, to captivity ; and he that is for famine, to famine ; 
and God shall be avenged on these lands. 1 And whilst one 
said, ' Is there no remedy ?' he cried thrice, ' No remedy, 
no remedy, no remedy I 1 Then he held his peace a little and 
said, * I tell you what must be ; the broken covenant of Scot- 
land must be renewed, the formality of Ireland must be 
purged, the prodigality of England removed, and the sons 
of Saul hung up before the sun. 9 By these last words, none 
knew what he meant. Some of his own parish being present, 
asked what he would say to them; to whom he replied, 
* Wo to thee, Dunagor, for the nettles and the long grass 
shall be in greater plenty in thee, than ever were people to 
hear the word of God. 1 This, his son was a witness to 
three years together, after the rebellion. They asked if he 
would have his children ; he said, no, he had done with them ; 
and whilst they mentioned one of his daughters, he desired 
to be forborn, and said she should see glorious days after all 
this. And then he takes his wife by the hand, who, having 
but a fortnight lain in of a child, crept out of the bed to get 
and give a long farewell, to whom he said, * Thou hast in 
faithfulness suffered many things with me in my pilgrimage, 
and now wherewith shall I comfort thee, my love ?' — think 
that he left her with four children, much debt contracted 
whilst he resisted a call to the ministry, and but thirty shiU 
lings sterling then, to do all with, — ( a father to the father- 
less, a judge to the widow, is God in his holy habitation ; 
as God is God, thou shah never want, nor none of thine, but 
in all the sad days that are coming, you shall be a wonder 
of mercy in every place whither you are carried; and not a 


hair of your head shall fall :* which was, to the edification 
and conviction of many, fully accomplished." He was buried 
beside his church in Donegore, where an humble tombstone 
still preserves the remembrance of this venerable minister. (<5) 
Scarcely had these faithful men been removed by death 9 
when measures were taken for abridging the liberty which the 
suspended brethren were now enjoying. In the month of 
September, bishop Bramhall, always on the alert to suppress 
nonconformity, remonstrated with Wentworth against continu- 
ing the indulgence which he had so recently granted to those 
ministers, setting forth, no doubt, the necessity of upholding 
the authority of the church, and of reducing such refractory 
members to due subordination. In consequence of this inter- 
ference, Wentworth, though entreated by Lord Castlestewart 
to extend their liberty for half a year longer, which he had 
3t one time consented to do, now wrote to bishop Echlin to 

It is worthy of notice, that for two centuries, the descendants of this 
faithful man have been among the most eminent ministers of the presby- 
terian church in Ireland. The reader has already learned (Note 18, chap. 
i.) that Mr. Stewart's son was minister of Donagbadee from the year 1645 
tp 1671. What became of his descendants I do not know ; but his sister 
Janet, who was only seven years old when their father died, became the 
wife of the Rev. Thomas Crawford, who succeeded old Mr. Stewart, as 
minister of Donegore ; in which charge he continued from the year 1646 
till his death in December 1670. His *on v the Rev. Andrew Crawford* 
was minister of Carnmoney beside Belfast, from 1694, till his death in 
June 1 726. His son, the Rev. Thomas Crawford, — whose wife, by the 
way, was aunt to the celebrated authoress, Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton,—- was 
minister of Crumlin from the year 1724 till his death in July 1782. And 
lastly bis son, the Rev. William Crawford, who was consequently great- 
great-grandson of Mr. Stewart whose death is recorded in the text, was 
minister first at Strabane and latterly at Holywood from the year 1766, 
till his death in the year 1801. With him the succession of ministers 
ceased. He was the author of " Remarks on Lord Chesterfield's Letters,'' 
and of a " History of Ireland," in two volumes. He also published two 
single sermons ; and translations from the Latin of the younger Turretine's 
Dissertations on Natural Theology, in two volumes 8vo. While minister 
of Donegore I procured the tombstone, alluded to in the text, to be repair- 
ed and the letters renewed, that this memorial of my venerable predecessor 
may be perpetuated through another century. 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN lft£LAND. 183 

renew his sentence of suspension on Blair and Dunbar, so 
soon as their former license should terminate. Accordingly, 
in the month of November, these brethren were once more 
compelled to abandon the public exercise of their ministry ; 
" And so," relates Blair, " all hopes of further liberty having 
been cut off, we closed with celebrating the sacrament of the 
Lord's supper ; and solemnly delivered up our people to the 
great Bishop of our souls, from whom we had received our 
charge."* 7 * They were then cited before the bishop for the 
third time, and sentence of deposition was formally pro- 
nounced against them. On this occasion the following re- 
markable conference took place between Blair and Echlin. 
It is now for the first time published from an authentic ma- 
nuscript, (8) and is eminently entitled to occupy a place in ec- 
clesiastical history, from the striking manner in which it il- 
lustrates and contrasts the dastardly spirit of the persecutor, 
and the unshrinking honesty and intrepidity of the confessor. 


A conference betwixt the bishop of Down in Ireland, 

and a preacher there. 

" First at the bishop's house where the pastor, not think- 
ing to meet with the bishop any more, resolved to be free 
with him, because the bishop had, in pretence of love, for* 
merly given many counsels to him. If ye will follow my ad- 
vice, said the Bishop, I will also follow yours. Content, said 
the Pastor, upon condition you will prove yours from Scrip- 
ture, as I shall do mine. 

" P. My counsel is, that you, who once had a gift of preach- 
ing, but now a long time hath deserted the work and em-, 
braced this present world, that you would return to your 

7 Blair's Life, p. 82. Rawdon Papers, p. 15. 

8 Bibl. Jurid. Edin. MS. Rob. iii. 3. 2. It is evidently written by 
Blair himself. I have modernized the spelling, as, to most of my readers! 
the old Scottish orthography would prove very perplexing ; while so many 
specimens of the language of that period occur in other accessible works, 
that an additional one is not needed for philological purposes. 

184 HISTOftY Of THE FUSMTZUAX *■**. tr. 

** B. ffff iiig ye neve often refuned say 
to fallow yaws. 

whj yon wenld fcrbesr at no 

M ye stmU be qaatMacd 6r 

yew as nwn as wenld nuuii 

tvt inert, I pny ye*» so long as ye did hold esT fion liunb- 

ling of ns, ye hud no loss of year wvridly estate ; hot 

since ye hare wronged God in falling oi ns hit 

yevr god has boon halted upon, end what ye have 

ye know. 

**AI have indeed loot since, more nor ye trow ; hot had 
ye been m niy place, I trow ye weald have done no better. 

"P. Your place! I would not be in your place far mil the 
earth ; far year place fitt yon only far ill and no good. And 
now let me tell you, whereas ye have some pretences against 
Mr. Livingston and myself which the Lord knows are 
groundless, now ye are like to fall against Mr. Cunningham, 
against whom ye can find scarce any colour of a challenge. If 
ever ye put hand on his ministry, cast your cap at heaven, 
never to look far God's mercy. And further, I desire you 
in making up your accounts, to take notice that your reviling 
words against me had a great hand in the death of my wife, 
now in heaven. 

" To which the bishop answered little, being astonished : 
only he said, Think ye to bring thy wife's death upon me ? 
To which was replied, Look ye to it, it is true I tell you, 
and if I wished not your repentance, I would not thus warn 
you in private* 

" So we parted, thinking never to meet again. 

" Yet within a few days, the bishop cited the said preacher 
to compear before him at Belfast, there to be silenced. The 
bishop asked him if he could show any reason why he should 
not be silenced. 

A.D. 1634. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 185 


P. You always blame us 88 oontemnera of lawful authori- 
ty ; now I retort upon you. There is a letter directed from 
his majesty to try a number of us concerning our doctrine and 
life, which ye have never yet done. If, therefore* ye proceed 
against me for not subscribing till ye take that trial as ye are 
enjoined, you are the contemner of the king's authority. 

" B. That letter came never into my hands. Have you 
any more to say for yourself? 

" P. Ye know well enough in whose hands it is. It is 
among you, and yet ye wilfully contravene it Therefore albeit 
ye have not answered my first, I answer, secondly ;— you blame 
us for violating your canons ; this also I retort upon yourself. 
Ye have twice already sentenced me, and threaten now to do 
it the third time, without any canons authorizing you to do 
the same ; for this kirk, as yet, has no canons at all. 

" B. Aye, but I have the civil law for me. 

" P. The execution of a civil law belongs to another court. 
You are to be regulated by your canons. Have you pro- 
ceeded but even according to your own corrupt grounds? 
Yea, ye present also the civil law contrary to the intention 

** B. I pray you, appeal from me. 

" P. If ye knew that an appellation would be steadable to 
me, I doubt ye would give that counsel. But I have tried 
all these fords, and find them passable fin* whoredom, blood- 
shed, or any other crime. 

" B. Have ye any more to say for yourself? 

" P. I am not well begun yet, albeit ye have answered 
nothing to what I have said. The main thing that I allege 
is this, I am not yet convinced of any obstinate persisting in 
the breach of God's law, or violating the gospel of Jesus 

" B. Oh ! that is a long field ; but I will be short with 
you. Have ye received the communion kneeling ? 

" P. No, neither ever think I so to do. 

" B. What needeth more ? 



" P. I pray you, what command of the law or place of the 
gospel is thereby violated ? 

- " B. Register, read the fentence. But yet I pray you 
over again 9 appeal from me. 

" P. Well, seeing ye so much urge upon appellation, I 
will appeal indeed ; and hereby I do appeal indeed to the 
tribunal of Christ my Lord, to whom I labour to be faithful ; 
aix) there cite I you to appear, that ye may answer for your 
ill deeds of this kind, and for what ye are now going to do. 

" B. I appeal also from justice to mercy, whereof ye have 
need as well as I. 

" P. I have indeed great need of it, and am persuaded to 
find it. But as for you, who come to do such wickedness, see 
how ye tempt Ood, and forsake your mercy. 

" To which no reply was made, but the sentence read ; 
the pastor coming away rejoicing in the Lord. And the 
other citation, ere long, took effect, the bishop dying in fear- 
ful dumps of conscience."* 9 * 

Echlin died on the 17th of July following, in considerable 
distress of mind. He was succeeded by Henry Leslie, dean 
of Down, a native of Scotland, and a man of considerable 
erudition, but a most violent and bigoted episcopalian. He 

• Blair in hit manuscript life relates the following anecdote respecting 
the bishop's death :—-" Shortly thereafter he sickened ; and when the phy- 
sician, Dr. Maxwell, came to him and inquired what ailed him, he was 
long silent ; and with great difficulty uttered these words, * It is my con- 
science, man.' To which the doctor replied, * I have no cure for that* 
This report the doctor made to the old lord viscount of Airds, who dis- 
charge4 W m to report the same to any other ; hut his daughter-in-law (the 
now lady viscountess of Airds) yet living, being then and there present 
when the doctor made the report, she replied, ' No roan shall get this report 
suppressed ; for I shall bear witness of it to the glory of God, who did 
smite the bishop for suppressing of Christ's ministers.' " This viscountess 
of Airds was the Lady Jean Alexander, eldest daughter of the first earl 
of Stirling mentioned in note < 18 ) chap. iii. After the death of her hus- 
band, the second viscount Airds, she married major-general Monro, for 
several years commander of the Scottish forces in Ulster after the rebellion 
of 1641. She died in 1670. 

AJ>. 1636. .CHURCH IN IRELAND. 187 

was consecrated in Dublin on the fourth of October 1635, 
and was scarcely in his seat before he commenced the work 
of persecution. The first person on whom he exercised his 
newly acquired power was Livingston, who for some reason 
now unknown, had not been included by the late bishop in 
the sentence of deposition against the other three brethren, 
although he had shared with them in their other suspension. 
He was now, in the month of November, deposed by Leslie, 
and formally excommunicated by Melvin the minister of 
Downpatirick. Both he and Blair, however, still continued 
to discharge in private the duties of the ministry. The lat- 
ter, it is related, " ordinarily preached in his own house, 
which was ordered by a discreet old servant, and sometimes 
in other houses among his friends and acquaintances, espe- 
cially in Holywood, and sometimes he and his brethren did 
go into their churches. And as they had done formerly when 
deposed, so now they prayed with their people, and after one 
bad read a chapter, they discoursed thereon by way of lee* 
ture." Livingston pursued a similar course. He reside4 
chiefly at the house of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Stevenson,— » 
" at the iron-furnace at Miloore, (10) twelve miles from Kil- 
linchy," where he preache4 almost every Sabbath. But 
" perceiving during the winter no appearance of liberty 
either to preachers or professors, from the bondage of pre- 
lacy," the presbyteyians of Ulster determined to carry into 
effect the design of removing to New-England, which they 
had for some years been meditating. Encouraged by the 
governor and council of the infant colony, already plant- 
ed in the new world, they commenced by building a ship, 
called the Eagle-wing, of one hundred and fifty tons burden, 

*• This was Malone, near Belfast, where a Mr. Barr had iron-furnaces. 
The reader will find biro mentioned in the subsequent chapter. Living. 
aton's wife was the eldest daughter of Barth. Fleming, merchant in Edin- 
burgh. Her mother, who was sister to Mr. Blair's first wife, was married 
secondly to Mr. John Stevenson, who removed with his family to Ireland, 
and settled at Malone in the end of the year 1693. Liv. life, p. 22, 3. 


the desars mcaiaat s* an 

until las* in the mm. 

. Li the mean base, the ann s hrt of their £dkar-eaaigrants 

by the vitaa* Bam of die new hishop of 
He head his primary THHifmp at Iit- 
of July; fid agreeably to the order of 
he ieowired nan his dugj then snb- 
of the canons. On dnsoce aiiuu fire of die minis- 
leimed to comply, and assigned their mwiw Xhese 
Mr. Briee of Broadkbnd, Mr. Ridge of Antrim, Mr. 
vwiBiiign aw of Holywood, Bar. Cortert of Osdstorje, and Mr. 
Has&ufton of BaDywalter. Toe bishop, impressed with the 
hnportanee of retaining these men in the church, of which 
they were ■ wmwh t the most — *b— and influential mhusten* 
held, on this occasion, a private eo nfeieu oe with them, in die 
hope of mdnring them to relinquish their scruples, and pro- 
mise conformity to the fanoiWL This attempt, howerer, 
proving nnfliTtuil, he was urged by bishop Bramhall to pro- 
eeed forthwith to their deposition. He accordingly summon- 
ed his clergy to meet him in the church at Belfast on the 
tenth of August. The bishop opened the business of this 
mcmoia Me visitation by preaching from die ominous text, — 
** But if he neglect to bear the church, let him be unto thee 
as an heathen man and a publican/* Matt, xviii. 17- ni * 

11 Soon afar this discourse was preached, the bishop committed it to 
the picas, sad it was published early in the following year. It is entitled 
u A Treatise of the Authority of the Chorea, the soaune whereof was 
delirered in a Sennoo preached at Belfast at the visitation of the Diocese 
of Downe and Conner, the tenth day of August 1696. By Henrie Leslie, 
hiiho p of the Diocese ; to ge th er with an Answer to certain Objections 
ssade against the Orders of our Church, especially kneeling at the Com- 
■sanaon.* Dublin, 1637, 4to. pp. 190. It is dedicated in a strain of 
ftdsome panegyric to Wentworth, and, prefixed to it, is an address in Latin 
verse, not rtty complimentary to the p rc sbj t eria ns, by Robert Maxwell, 
anh acatO H of Down. At the recommendation of Dr. George Hicks, 

A.D. 1686. CHURCH IN IRELAND. • 189 

In this elaborate discourse, which is not without distinguish* 
ed merit as a controversial disquisition, and which contains 
many undeniable truths forcibly expounded, after illustrat* 
ing the context, he maintains that by " the church," is not 
meant, the multitude of believers, nor the Jewish court of 
elders, nor the civil magistrate, nor the pope, nor a general 
council, but the prelates. He proceeds to show that the 
church had power " to keepe and propound the sacred onu 
cles— to ordayne ministers — to decide controversies— to enact 
ceremonies — and to censure offenders." In the discussion 
of these topics it is occasionally difficult to believe that the 
writer is a protestant, or to discover the difference between 
his reasoning and that of a Jesuit Romanist pleading for the 
authority of the papal church. He treats the nonconforming 
portion of his clergy with little ceremony. Speaking of the 
church's power " to ordain ministers, appoint them their 
stations, and direct them in the exercises of their function," 
he indulges in the following rude and disdainful recrimina- 
tion. — " Hee that will take upon him the office of a minister, 
not being called by the church, [that is, of course, by the 
prelates] is an intruder and a thief that commeth not in by 
the doore, but climbeth up another way. What will you say* 
to some Dominees heere amongst you, who having no ordi- 
nation to our calling, have taken upon them to preach,— and 
preach I know not what, even the foolish visions of their owne 
heart. As they runne when none bath sent them, and 
runne very swiftly, because like Abimaaz, they runne by the 
way of the plaine, so like Ahimaaz when they are come, 
they have no tydings to tell but doleful news. They think 
by their puff of preaching to blowe downe the goodly orders 
of our church, as the walls of Jericho were beaten downe 
with sheepes homes. Good God ! is not this the sinne of 
Uzziah, who intruded himselfe into the office of the priest- 

tbw treatise was republished, with a few other tracts, in defence of the 
English Church, hi a volume entitled, " Bibliotbeoa Soripterwn Eodetia* 
Anglican*." London, 1700, 8vo. 


hood ? And was there ever the like heard amongst Chris- 
tians, except the Anabaptists, whom some amongst you have 
match t in all manner of disordered confusion ?" 

The principal object of the discourse is to vindicate the 
power of the church, asserted in the English articles, to make 
laws and decree ceremonies in the administration of divine 
worship. The ministers having objected, in particular, to 
the ceremony of kneeling at the communion, as a most ob- 
noxious relic of popery, and wholly unwarranted by Scrip- 
ture, he endeavours, at great length, to prove that Christ did 
not sit at the celebration of his Supper, and that, even if h£ 
did, his disciples were not bound to adopt that posture. The 
presbyterians, on the contrary, maintained the scriptural ob- 
ligation of using a table-gesture in the observance of the or- 
dinance. In reply, the bishop absurdly reasons that, if they 
adopted the gesture, they were bound to introduce the other 
peculiarities, of an ordinary feast ; and he thus insolently up- 
braids them for their alleged inconsistency. " Then why 
doe yee not receive the Sacrament in your dyning roomes ? 
for the church is not a fit place to eate and drinke in. Why 
doe you not salute and welcome one another before you sit 
downe, as the manner is at civill feasts ? Why doe you not 
use trenchers, napkins, knives, as well as stooles ? Why 
doe you not eate a full meale, feede heartily, drinke oftner 
then once, and pledge one another ? For all these doe be- 
long to a liberal and honourable intertainment, such as your 
authors say must be in the sacrament. I am sure it is as 
farre from honourable intertainment, and the prerogative of 
guests, to receive but one bit of bread, and one drop of wine, 
as it is eyther to stand or to kneele. Why doe you not in- 
tertaine discourse one with another P And especially why 
doe you not keepe on your hats, (12) as at other feasts, that so 

13 It is curious that about ten years after this period, Nye and the other 
independent teachers insisted on the necessity of all male communicants* 
keeping on their hate at the time of participation. See Baillie's Letter** 
vol i. p. 440, and his Dissuasive, p. 122. (Loud. 1646.) 

A.D. 1636. CHURCH IN IRELAND. N 191 

you may bee, every man* jacke-fellow-like with Christ in your 
social communions ? I am afraid it will come to this at last, 
by that time your people have learned all the mysteries of 
your religion.'* 

In vindicating the power of the church to censure offenders, 
he thus enumerates the errors maintained by the non-conform- 
ing clergy, and thence infers the necessity of cutting them off 
with the sword of discipline. " Surely as the Lord taxeth 
the angel of the church of Thyatira, for suffering the woman 
Jezabel to teach and deceive Qod's servants ; so may hee re- 
prove the governors of our church, for suffering this feminine 
heresie so long, they of that sexe being the greatest zealots, 
and chiefe abbettors of the sect, by whom many simple people 
are deceived, and led from the wholesome pastures of the 
church to wander in the precipices of schisme.* 13 * This must 

13 This is a frequent subject of complaint with the bishop. We meet 
with it in the dedication of his sermon to Wentworth. So extensive was 
the spread of presbyterianism in bis diocese that he thinks it necessary to 
noint out to the deputy the causes of its extraordinary prevalence. Among 
these be enumerates the exemplary holiness of the ministers, their dili- 
gence in preaching, their fidelity in rebuking the vices of the great, &a 
The last cause which he assigns is thus stated : M Rut the special means 
whereby they have advanced their faction, is by insinuating into the weaker 
aexe in whom there is least ability of judgment. By this means the ser- 
pent overcame mankind ; he first tempted the woman, and by her seduced 
Adam. By this means the Philistines overcame Sampson ; they ploughed 
with his heifer, and so found out his riddle. And this indeed hath been 
the common practise of all heriticks ; as the Jews stirred certaine devout 
and honourable women to resist Paul. These new Gospellers make use 
of such instruments to oppose the church, and for the most part their pro- 
selytes are of that sexe, as if their generative vertue were so weake that 
they could beget none but daughters. Now to search a little into the 
cause of this : Besides the weaknesse of their judgment to discerne be- 
tween truth and error, and the naturall inclination which is in women to 
pitty ; two things especially make them in love with that religion ; one is, 
it is natural) unto the daughters of Eve to desire knowledge, and those 
men puff them up with an opinion of science, inabling them to prattle of 
matters of divinity, which they and their teachers understand much alike : 
insomuch that albeit St. Paul hath forbidden women to speake in the 
church, yet they speake of church-matters more than cosies to their share. 


not be suffered any longer. Bat 70a will say, the difference 
if only about small matters, and it is a pitty to deprive mini- 
sters who are paineral and laborious, for a ceremony. For 
answer, I shall desire yon to consider, that they doe not ooely 
oppose the ceremonies, bat the whole liturgie of the church, 
wherein the soul of God's publicke worship doth consist. Bel- 
aides, their doctrine is not sound : for they have taught that 
the order of bishops is antichristian, which we know to be 
apostolicke : that our ceremonies are damnable, which we can 
prove to bee both lawful and decent : that our service-book is 
a heap of errors, which we can justify to be the most abso- 
lute liturgie that any church in the world hath : that the 
signe of the cross in baptisme, and kneeling in the act of re- 
ceiving the communion, is plaine idolatry, then which, hell 
itself could not have devised a more shamelesse calronnie : 
that the Eucharist being a supper and a feast, no gesture 
should be used at it, but a table-gesture, to express our co- 
heirship and equality with Christ, which if it smell not strong 
of Arianisme, I have lost my sent : that all festivall dayea, 
besides the Lords day, and all set fasts are Jewish, and con- 
trary to our Christian liberty ; which is the condemned here- 
me of Aerius. They have cryed downe the most wholesome 
orders of the church as popish superstitions, namely, confir- 
mation of children, absolution of penitents, private baptisme 
of children in case of necessity, the communion of the sick, 
and almost whatsoever hath any conformity with the ancient 

The other is, a desire of liberty and fredome from subjection ; for these 
teachers allow them to be at least quarter-masters with their husbands, in- 
somuch that I have not observed that faction to prwvatle but where hus- 
bands have learned to obey their wives, and where will and affection wears 
the breeches. There is a civill constitution in the autbentickes against 
women who would not receive the holy and adorable communion, that they 
should lose their douries or jointures ; which if it were in force in this 
kingdoms, I think some of our ladies would not be so stiff-kneed, choosing 
rather to goe without that blessed sacrament, than receive it kneeling."— 
The influence of the female sex in promoting the cause of Gospel truth 
and freedom, in almost all agea and countries, merits a much more extend- 
ed illustration than it has yet received. 

A.D. 1696. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 193 

church. If I were not weary to dig in this dung-hill, I could 
shew you many such portenta opinionum, which these new 
nasters have vented to the great scandal of the church, and 
hinderance of religion, that I may complain with the prophet, 
pastures multi y yea, and stulti, many pastors have destroyed 
my vineyard." The following singular observation, with the 
exception of a brief exhortation to peace and submission, con- 
cludes the bishop's discourse : — " It is said, that when Cain 
was cast out from the presence of God, that is from his church 
and the place of his worship, he went and dwelt in the land 
«*f Nod. So you, when you are cast out of the church, are 
preparing to goe and dwell in the land of Noddies, and it is 
strange if the sides of one ship can contayne them, who can- 
not be kept within the pale of the church." < u> 

This characteristic discourse being ended, the five non- 
conforming ministers were called forward. The bishop com- 
plained that the result of his former confidential conference 
with them having been misrepresented, and the victory, in 
point of argument, attributed to them, he would not again 
converse with them in private. But he now proposed to 
debate the matter openly in the church on the following day, 
when he would defend all that was required by the canons. 
This offer was at once accepted by the brethren ; and Mr. 
Hamilton, who had been a member of the convocation, was 
appointed by them to conduct the conference in their name. 
Accordingly, on Thursday, the eleventh of August, this 
singular and interesting discussion commenced, in the pre- 
sence of a large assemblage of the nobility, gentry, and clergy 
of the diocese. It was conducted according to the forms of 
syllogistic reasoning ; and displays great readiness and acute- 
ness on the part of Hamilton, and more moderation on that 
of the bishop, than could have been anticipated from his 
sermon. Bramhall was present to encourage his brother pre- 

" Leslie's Treatise, &c, pp. 28. 68, 4 86, 7, 8. and 106. ' Noddy* is 
the old word for simpleton, so that the bishop's wretched witticism upos 
* the land of noddies,' is not rery complimentary to his native country. 
VOL. I. O 


late ; and be occasionally mingled in the discussion, but in a 
wy arrogant and disorderly manner. As it too often hap- 
pens in public debates, the controversy merged into the dis- 
cussion of some of the less important points of difference. 
It therefore by no means affords a favourable view of the 
grounds, on which the ministers refused the required con- 
formity. The debate was maintained with good temper and, 
great spirit for several hours. But Bramhall, resenting the 
liberty afforded the ministers, suddenly interrupted the oosv 
forebee, and Leslie immediately adjourned the meeting, fiat 
to the afternoon, and then to the following morning. An 
ample account of this singular debate, never before published, 
may be found in the appendix. <15) In the mean time, Leslie 
was prevailed upon, by the bishop of Deny, not to resume the 
discussion, but to proceed in a summary way to pass sentence 
on the ministers. Accordingly, when the meeting was assent* 
Wed on the morning of Friday, the brethren found themselves 
deprived of any further opportunity of stating their objections ; 
and as they continued, with unshrinking firmness, to refuse all 
snbscription to the canons, the bishop proceeded to pronounce 
the sentence of their deposition. The following narrative of 
the occurrences of this eventful day, appended to the account 
of the debate already mentioned, is too interesting to be 

" Friday, the 12th day of August, at 9 o'clock in the 
forenoon, 1636. The bishop called before him Mr. Ridge, 
be* Mid said to this effect, — 

" Mjr masters, I thought to have gained you to our church* 
and was willing to have taken the more pains upon yon. 
Silt now I am informed, I went further in allowing a public 
dispute to you than I can justify by law ; so that I must not 
go en ih that kind. Yet if you find yourselves satisfied with 

** See Appendix No. ii. where (Jus account is printed from an accurate 
conation at three eotfoy awaiuui ia the Ataeatea' Library, Ha* 



that which is said, so be that ye resolve to subscribe, I am 
content you write to the full all that ye hate to say, and I 
will answer you,[and fully refer what shall be said, to the 
judgment of any university in Europe. Only it is expedient 
that we avoid bitterness ; and for the present, if ye conform 
not yourselves to die order ef our church, I must and will 
proceed to read your sentence, sore against my will, God 
knows. Yet mistake me not This is for love to your per* 
sons, which I so much affect, that I protest my born brother 
should not have had move favour than ye have gotten. But 
it is not for love of that cause. My conscience assures m*, 
that your cause is wrong. I wish that all that are here pro* 
seat should know that I love your persons, but hate you* 
cause. What can ye say for yourselves, that I should not 
pronounce sentence against you ? 

M Mr. Ridge answered : We acknowledge that you, for your 
part, did give us a fair hearing yesterday for a space. We 
were hopeful to have been beard to the full. But since you 
protest that you cannot do that, I protest that doubts, <xn» 
cerning the matters urged, are so great, that I cannot sub- 
scribe unto die same 

" Bishop. Mr. Ridge, melancholy causeth many fear** 
A melancholy man will be afraid of his own shadow ; and: 
you are, and have been, a melancholian. 

" Mr. Ridge. Melancholy is a natural cause, and cannot 
work spiritual effects ; it cannot give light in spiritual thing* 
I am ready to give reasons of abstinence. Besides, I find no 
fears upon me in any other things. If I were led by fear*, 
methinks the fear of losing my means, my liberty, my eetk 
mation, and to be called a contemner of the laws, as we most 
undeservedly are called, should draw me to conform, and not 
be run upon these things that are fearful to one who is filled 
with natural fears. 

" The bishop passing him, said to Mr. Hamilton : What 
say you for youxiel£ that I may not pass sentence against ym t 

" Mr. Hamilton answered : I hoped we should have fell 


• firir proceeding and bearing this day, aa we got at ymt 
hand in some measure, yesterday. 

" Bishop. I must not go on in that kind of hearing. 

" Hamilton, [resuming the subject of debate on the pre- 
ceding day,] said : Well, since there wants nothing, in kneel* 
ing at communion, of perfect idolatry, but the idolatrous in- 
tent and the idolatrous opinion, as was confessed yesterday ; 
and seeing never one will confess an idolatrous intent, I think 
we have little reason to justify it by subscription. For what 
know we when the intent may change, the heart being so 
changeable ; in the mean time die cause shall stand justifiable 
by my subscription. And as for the idolatrous opinion; 
though in the days of King Edward the Sixth, at which 
time the declaration was made, which was read here yesterday 
in public audience, they were free from the real presence of 
the body of Christ in die sacrament ; yet the doctrine goes 
not now, as it did then. For yourself knows, that both in 
court and country, it is both preached and printed by many, 
that there is a real presence, which they will not let be dis- 
cussed, whether it be bodily or spiritual, but people must 
content themselves with the general. Sure I am, that he 
that kneels had need to take heed to it, when these opinions 
are a-stirring, there being a safer course— to receive without 

" Bishop. It is true, indeed, some preach a real presence 
of the body of Christ, whereby they mean a spiritual presence 
of the body of Christ ; albeit I confess they speak improperly. 
For the real presence of Christ's body must be bodily, for a 
thing is said to be present ' secundum esse rei.' Yet they, 
by real presence, mean, not an opposition to the spiritual and 
mystical presence ; but an imaginary presence, because the 
papists accuse us, that we acknowledge no further than an 
imaginary presence of Christ's body. 

" Hamilton. We all agree upon a spiritual presence ; but 
these late writers will not have it inquired how he is present 
But we have need, as we would avoid idolatry, to avoid 

A.D. 1686. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 197 

kneeling ; lest with such opinions the idolatrous worship be 
completed: — I say, when such opinions are stirring, all 
kneelers had need to beware. 

" Bishop. Though now ye oppose kneeling, I knew you 
were once of another mind in Dublin. 

" Hamilton. I would to God I had leisure to express my 
mind concerning that which I did at that time. Yet this 
much shortly : — I take God to witness, that I always desired 
die reformation of these things which now we oppose. And 
even then, when I practised kneeling in Dublin, it was the 
great desire I had to speak for reformation thereof, that made 
me do as I did. (I0) For being called to be a member of mat 
synod, where I hoped to get liberty to speak my mind in 
these matters, I straited my soul in the beginning, and forced 
myself to do as I did, (with an assembly that had prejudice 
of me and the cause,) upon the same intent and ground, aa I 
then conceived, upon which Paul in Acts, xxi. chap, offered 
an offering and shaved his head, because those that were there 
assembled had a prejudicate opinion of him and his ministry. 
And I am sure Paul would not have done it the second time, 
and no more durst I. Yet when I compared my practices 
with Paul's, I found that I had done much more unwarrant- 
ably than he did, and was sorry for it. 

" Bishop. Mr. Hamilton, can you say any further why I 
should not give sentence against you for not consenting to 
the orders of our church? They have all the conditions 
that church constitutions ought to have. They are few and 
plain, and are significant. 

" Hamilton. Add, I pray, that they are not scandalous. 

<* Bishop. It is you that takes the scandal : there is none 
gives you it. 

" Hamilton. Yea, there is occasion of scandal, because 
there is an occasion of felling laid in the way, contrary to 
Horn. xiv. 13. 

M This was on occasion of tbe convocation publicly receiving the 
Amnion kneeling, in the cathedral at Dublin, in 16Mb 

19B Hirromy of the fbusttebian «up, ur. 

« Biwk+. I told you aheedy, that that chapter was 
saade before canons woe made, not to stop the power of the 
church constitutions ; for die apostle would hoc have amid a*, 
if the church canons had been made. 

"Hamilton. If that chapter hinders me to damn myself, 
a*d if the 1 Cor. wiiL chap, stops me to ' destroy him with 
asy sweat for whom Christ died;' then those two chapter 
warn written to that effect, that all Christians might haws the 
htwrfit of them, and privilege by them, to the end of the work! 
lev it en never be lawful for fulfilling any church eonstitn- 
liana to mate a man damn himself, or < destroy him for whom 
Christ dieeV 

« JWaosjp. Do you amy, that one for whom Christ died, 
inn he destroyed? 

« Bmmkmu I speak in the phrase of the Holy Qbeat; 
and this I say, that you, by the rigorous [aeauu g of kneeling 
may do what in you lies, to destroy him for wham Christ 

" iKsaoav Mr. Hamilton, yon shall reason no more hem 
at this time. I moot not give yon way to reason, If yon 
harm any thing to any, write your mind, and I shall answer 
ia. What any you to it? 

« HamilUm. If I may bo preserved from peril of law, I 
wiQ take your offer into consideration. In die mean time, in 
■tewid all onr desire is to prevent arising idolatry, and that 
am hum pleaded our privilege out of Bom. xiv. and 1 Can 
win. t hro u gh out ; and ye do not give us the benefit of oajr 
privilege therein contained, alleging that your hands are 
bonsai up by church constitutions which ye must see fulfilled, 
wo appeal from your judgment to the first free, lawful, synod 
of this kingdom. 

"ft»*on Enter his appeal 

« Hun said Thomm Taylor, register, he cannot have the 
benefit of an appeal, unless he subscribe the first four canene* 
which he refuses to do. 

" Bi$kop. God forbid that he or any man dm should he 


hindered to appeal, either from a national or general epuncil. 
If we were stopped from our appealing) then were oujr 
Christian liberty taken away indeed* Then was the appeal 

44 Bishop. Hear your sentence. And so be read the five 
neveral sentences of perpetual silence within his diocese i-v* 
first, against Mr. Brice; secondly, against Mr. Col wart; 
thirdly, against Mr. Cunningham. 

" Then Mr. Hamilton desired to speak one word, which 
feeing granted, he said ; we are sentenced for not subscribing 
hooks which we did never see with our eyes, nor cannot by 
any means come by. I protest that I myself have been at 
dbarges this twelvemonth in seeking them in Xtffldpn and 
Dublin, and could not, upon any terms, have them, A*4 
let any judge if we should be silenced for not subscribing 

u Bishop. What books mean you ? 

" Hamiltm. The books of homilies. 

" Bishop. They are as good books as are in 4b* world, 
except the Bible. 

" Hamilton. If I would subscribe any faqpfe upon good 
report, I would subscribe them. But no ehnichmen should 
subscribe whole books which he did never see, nor peruke, 
upon report only. 

" Bishop. Bad you alleged this excuse half a ynaxAgo, 
it bad been sufficient ; I should upon my own charges haw 
fatten them to you. But now this allegation cannot attsil 
you. Hear your sentence. And so he read the like sentence, 
fourthly, against Mr. Hamilton ; and, lastly, against J|r. 

" After the sentence was read, Mr. Cunningham spake Jo 
this effect.— I have now lived these twenty years amongst you 
in this kingdom, serving the Lord in his holy ministry ; and 
thought so to have spent out the rest of my days (which can* 
pot be long, for my body is very erased) in the^ape emnjtay- 
peat My doctrine and life, for thai 4we, #* feimwa to 


most who are here present I appeal to all their conscience* 
if they can say any thing against me in either of them. Yes, 
I ever kept me close to the commission of my Lord ; but now 
I am required to receive impositions upon my ministry which 
are against my conscience. I rather lay down my ministry 
at the feet of my Lord and Saviour Christ, of whom I did 
receive it, than to live with an evil conscience at die free 
liberty of it. 

" At these words, most of them who were present declared 
die grief of their hearts by their sad countenance ; and divert 
burst out into weeping, not being able to contain themselves. 

" But the bishop replied to this purpose : — Mr. Cunning- 
ham, I confess your life and doctrine hath both been good. 
But I must say to you that which was said to a certain man 
at Rome, who was to be put to death for a mutiny. Some 
pleaded for his life, alleging that he had done good service 
to the commonwealth, and could do more afterwards. But 
one of the council replied, ' non opus est reipublica eo cive, 
qui parere nescit.' And so say I to you, ( the church hath 
no need of those who cannot tell how to obey.' 

" With that he speedily arose and went away, while Mr. 
Colwart was addressing himself to speak, who much grieved 
that he was never heard." 

In this summary manner were these faithful ministers, 
sound in doctrine, unblemished in morals, eminent in piety 
and abundant in labours, deposed from their office, deprived 
of their support, and ultimately obliged to abandon the king- 
dom. The other ministers in the diocese who were of simi- 
lar principles, and who still constituted the majority jof the 
clergy, not possessing the courage or integrity of these bre- 
thren, signed the canons, and formally engaged to yield the 
required conformity. But, in the seclusion of their parishes, 
they continued to retain the former modes of worship, to 
which their people were so firmly attached. Oppressive, 
therefore, as was the conduct of Leslie, it was of little avail, 


either to advance the cause of prelacy, or to remove the leaven 
of presby terianism, with which his diocese was so extensively 
pervaded. It afforded, however, another instructive proof of 
the inefficacy of coercive measures to produce more than a 
mere external and hypocritical conformity. 

These severe proceedings hastened the intended voyage to 
Mew England. The presbyterian laity were now thoroughly 
convinced, that it was their duty to abandon this country, in 
which their religious privileges were so flagrantly violated. 
In the midst of their preparations for this purpose, one of the 
silenced brethren was removed by death. Brice of Broad- 
island scarcely survived his deposition. He returned from 
the visitation at Belfast, oppressed with the thoughts of being 
compelled to resign the beloved exercise of his ministry ; and 
before any steps could be taken by Leslie to cany his sentence 
into effect, this venerable minister resigned both life and 
office into the hands of the great ft Shepherd and Bishop of 
souls; < 17 ' 

The number of the intended emigrants, and their pre- 
parations for the voyage, were at length completed. This 
little colony, who were about to settle in the uncultivated 
wilds of America, for the sake of enjoying liberty of con- 
science, were one hundred and forty in number. Among 
them were Mr. Blair, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Robert Hamil- 
ton, and Mr. John McClelland, afterwards ministers in 
Scotland, John Stuart, provost of Ayr, captain Andrew Ag- 
new, Charles Campbell, John Sumervil, Hugh Brown, to- 
gether with many families and single persons, among whom 
was Andrew Brown, the deaf mute from the parish of Larne, 
already mentioned. 

!7 The following is a copy of the inscription on his tomb-stone: 
M Neare this lyeth the body of that faithful and emenent servant of God, 
Mr. Edward Brice, who begun preaching of the gospel in thia parish, 1618, 
continuing with quiet success while 1636, in which he dyed, aged 67, and 
left two sons and two daughters.**— His descendants hare attained to consi- 
derable wealth and em i nence. The original fiuntly property at Kiboot, be- 
tween Carrickfergus and Ballycarry, is still possessed by them. 


" We had much toil in our preparations," writes Liv- 
ingston in bis graphic narrative of the events of this voyage, 
«* sad many hindrances in our outsettmg, and both 
sad glad hearts in taking leave of ear friends. At 
about the ninth of September 1636, we loosed from Loaav 
Fesgus, but were detained sometime with co n tr a ry winds 
in Looh-Ryan in Scotland, and grounded the ship to 
some leaks in the keels of the boat. Yet thereafter we 
sea, sad for some space had a fair wind, till we woe 
three and four hundred leagues from Ireland, and so 
the banks of Newfoundland than any place of Europe. Bat 
if ever the Lord spake by his winds and other dispensations, 
it was made evident to us, that it was not his will that we 
should go to New England. For we met with a mighty 
heavy rain out of the north-west, which did break our rudder, 
which we got mended [by the skill and courage of captain 
Andrew Agnew, a godly passenger,]' 1 * with much of our 
gallon-head, and fore-cross-trees, and tore our foresail, five or 
six of our champlets, a great beam under the gunner^aoom 
door broke. Seas came in over the round-house, and brake a 
plank or two on the deck, and wet all them that were between 
the decks. We sprung a leak that gave us seven hundred 
strokes in two pumps in the half-hour glass. Yet we lay at 
hull a long time to beat out the storm, till the master and 
company came one morning, and told it was impossible to 
hold out any longer ; and although we beat out that storm, 
yet we might be sure in that season of the year we weuM 
foregather with one or two more of that sort before we could 
reach New England." After prayer, and much anxious con- 
sultation in this emergency, they all agreed to return. u The 
next morning, so soon as we saw day, we turned and made 
good way with a main course and a little of a fore-top sail ; 
and after some tossing, we came at last, on the third of 
November, to an anchor in Loch-Fergus. 

"* Tab dame in brackets, is mpplied out of a mamncript Bfe of Mr. 
Lfragscea. Janes Mr says, that the nidderwM repaired br* 


" During all this time, amidst such fears and dangers, the 
matt part of the passengers -were very cheerful and confident; 
yea, some in prayer had expressed such hopes, that rather 
than die Lord would suffer such a company in such sort to 
perish, if the ship should break, he should put wings to our 
ahoulders and carry us safe ashore. I never in my days 
found the day so short as all that time, although I slept some 
nights not above two hours, and some none at all, but stood 
moat part in the gallery astern the great cabin, where Mr. 
Blair and I and our families lay. For in the morning, by 
the time that every one had been some while alone ; and 
then at prayer in their several societies, and then at public 
p*ayer in the ship, it was time to go to dinner ; and after 
that, we would visit our friends in the gunner-room, or those 
between the decks, or any that were sick, and then public 
payer would come, and after that, supper and family exer- 
cises. Mr. Blair was much of the time sickly, and lay in 
time of storm. I was sometimes sick, and then my brother, 
Mr. McClelland only performed duty in the ship : several 
ef those between the decks, being throng, were sickly. An 
aged person and one child died, and were buried in the sea. 
One woman, the wife of Michael Colvert of Killinchy parish, 
brought forth a child in the ship ; I baptized him on Sab- 
bath following, and called him Seaborn. Our outward means 
were much impaired by this disappointment, Tor we had put 
most of our stocks in provision, and somewhat of merchandise, 
which we behoved to sell at low rates at our return; and had 
provided ourselves with some servants, for fishing and build- 
ing of Rouses, whom we behoved to turn off. That which 
grieved us most was, that we were like to be a mocking to 
the wicked ; but we found the contrary, that the prelates and 
their followers were much dismayed and feared at our re- 
tturn. <W) Bnt neither they nor we knew that, within a year, 

» They did not altogether escape being ridiculed and mocked on aeoouat 
of the mtacoajftil iesae ef their veytf*. Archdeacon Mam all, is the 


the Lord would root out the prelates out of Scotland, and after 
that, out of England and Ireland. Mr. Blair went and dwelt 
at the Stoue in Belfast ; (20) others elsewhere. I came back 
and remained at my mother's house, and preached each Sab- 
bath that winter, as I had done before." 

The ministers were not permitted to enjoy their privacy 
long. <' After about four months'* continuance in that way, 
one Frank Hill of Castlereagh, who used to come sometimes 
to meetings, wherein Mr. Blair and Mr. Livingston preached, 
went to Dublin and informed the state : whereupon a warrant 
was issued out against them. But the effect of it was merci- 
fully disappointed thus. One Andrew Young, servant to 
Mr. Barr, who lived nigh Mr. Livingston's house, being oc- 
casionally in Dublin, overheard a pursuivant give orders to 
provide horses for him and another, who were to set out next 
day for the north, to bring up two deposed ministers. Upon 
this he immediately called for his own horse ; and continu- 
ing his journey homeward with all speed, night and day, 
gave information of what he had heard ; whereby the designs 
against those ministers were frustrated. For immediately 

address prefixed to Leslie's sermon, mentioned in a preceding note, No. < n »> 
thus insults over their return : — 

En navem* Arcadica'properantem merce ; gravatam 

Mole*sua : miratur onus Neptunus, et undis 

Insolitum prohibet pecus, atque remisit, et una 

Ruditus veteres, vetus in mendacia virus. 

Et quasi lusa istis divina potentia nugis, 

Majlis in opprobrium, velis invexit eisdem 

Quos simulant, ipsos per anomala dogmata, AseUos.+ 

* Argot puritanic*. 

t Hec navii genuine* euam asinos ex secundo partu e Gallia notxi effudit- 

*> In a manuscript copy which I have seen of Livingstone's life, this place 
is called " the Strone." The correct word will probably be found to be 
" the Strand at Belfast" I may add, that the latter part of Livingston's 
statement in the text, is thus corroborated by Blair ; — " They were allow- 
ed to live in peace for some time ; and did occupy themselves, sometimes 
in preaching and lecturing privately and exhorting their people, at God 
gave diem opportunity.** Life, p. 88. 

A.0. 1637. CHUHCH IN IRELAND. 205 

they went out of the way and came over to Scotland, whither 
several other deposed ministers came about the same time." 

The western parts of Scotland became, at this period, a 
seasonable asylum for the oppressed people of Ulster. Many 
attempts were indeed made by the Scottish bishops, now in 
the plenitude of their power, to prevent this influx of persons 
whom they knew to be opposed to their arrogant authority, 
but without success. Numbers removed thither, compelled to 
abandon Ireland, where fines and other punishments began 
to be inflicted without mercy on the non-conforming laity. 
These strangers in their native land, sojourned principally in 
the shires of Ayr and Galloway, where they were harboured, 
and many of them kindly entertained by the faithful people of 
that country. In particular, one Fergus M'Cabbin, of the 
district of Carrick in Ayrshire, deserves to be noticed for his 
eminent and seasonable hospitality to the Irish refugees. 
" Being left a considerable patrimony by his father, and be- 
ing able, he was at that time a Gaius, and entertained minis- 
ters and professors coming from Ireland, as if he had been ap- 
pointed a public inn for them, and that not for a night or 
week, but ordinarily ; insomuch, that his natural friends 
said, he would presently exhaust his estate with such dealing. 
But he professed and found the contrary, that he grew richer, 
and it always prospered better with him, not only then, but 
to his dying day. As this was a mercy to him, so it was a 
special mercy to them who were entertained by him, and en- 
couraged others to do the like."* 31 * The celebrated David 

21 Adair's MS. As this is the first reference I have occasion to make 
to this valuable manuscript, from which so many important extracts are af- 
terwards made, I may here give the reader some account of it. It is entit- 
led, " A true Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Presbyterian Go- 
vernment in the North of Ireland ; and of the various troubles and afflic- 
tions, the ministers and people adhering to that way, did meet with from 
the adversaries thereof; and of their constant adherence thereunto, notwith- 
standing. Faithfully collected from the records of the Presbytery." With 
the exception of one or two Session and Presbytery books of little value 
to the historian, it is the only record of the Presbyterian church prior to 


Dickson, minister at Irvine, afterwards a distinguished oraa* 
ment and pillar of the church of Scotland, was also oonspteti* 
ous for his attentions to the exiled brethren. Blair, Living- 
ston, Cunningham, and Ridge, were liberally entertained by 
him and his people for a considerable time ; and though at 
no little hazard to himself, he occasionally permitted them to 
preach—- a privilege for which they were especially grateful. 

The two latter of these brethren died here in the midst of 
their troubles and privations. Livingston thus narrates the 
circumstances of the death of that truly good man, Mr. Cun- 
ningham. " While we were at Irvine, the Lord called 
home sweet Mr. Robert Cunningham, minister at Holywood,' 
on March 29th, 1637 ; for both he and all the rest of the 
deposed ministers were forced to fly out of Ireland. He had 
many gracious expressions of the Lord's goodness to him, and 
his great peace in regard of the cause of his sufferings. Re- 
sides many other gracious expressions, he said, * I see Christ 
standing over Death's head, and saying, deal warily with my 
servant, loose now this pin, then that pin, for this tabernacle 
must be set up again. 9 The members of the presbytery, [of 

the Revolution, existing in Ireland. It extends from the Plantation of 
Ulster, to the end of the year 1670. Blanks, which were unfortunately 
never filled up, are left in several places, for the insertion of extracts from 
the minutes and published papers of the church, now, it is to be feared, ir- 
recoverably lost It was compiled by the Rev. Patrick Adair, probably 
son of the Rev. William Adair, minister of Ayr, one of the brethren who 
administered the covenant to the Presbyterians of Ulsterjn the year 1644. 
See chapter x. Patrick Adair was minister first at Cairncastle, near Lame, 
in the county of Antrim, where he was ordained in the year 1646 ; and lat- 
terly at Belfast, where he died in the early part of the year 1694. Daring 
this long period, he was one of the most active and zealous ministers of the 
Presbyterian church, and enjoyed ample opportunities of obtaining the most 
correct information. He married the youngest daughter of Sir Robert 
Adair of Ballymena, by Jane, daughter of Archibald Edmonstone of Red* 
bail ; a connexion which also served to enlarge his knowledge of the affirfri 
of Ulster. This manuscript and its author, are noticed at some length in 
that well-known, but,— so far as historical information iscoocerned, meat 
meagr e volume, " Presbyterian Loyalty," pp. 166-7. 

A*D. 1487* CHURCH IN IRELAND. 207 

»>] having made him a visit, he exhorted them to be 
faithful to God and his cause, and to oppose the service-bode 
which was then urged by the bishops. ' The bishops, 9 said 
he, c have taken my ministry from me, and I may say my 
life, for my ministry is dearer to me than my life.' A little 
before his death, his wife sitting on a couch at his bedside, 
with his hand in hers, he did, by prayer, recommend the 
whole church, the work of God in Ireland, the parish of Ho* 
lywood, his suffering brethren in the ministry, and his child- 
ren, to God. And in the end, he said, ' O Lord, I recom- 
mend unto thee this gentlewoman, who is no more my wife ;* 
and with that saying, he softly loosed his hand from hers, and 
gently thrust her hand a little from him ; upon which she, 
and some others in the company, having fallen a-weeping, he 
endeavoured, by gracious expressions, to allay their grief, and 
after a while, he slept in the Lord. r>(29) Thus was another 
life sacrificed on the altar of ecclesiastical conformity ; nor did 
its votaries, the prelates, urged on by the despotic deputy, 
cease to persecute their victims, till the fairest province of the 
kingdom was almost depopulated, and not Ireland alone, but 
the whole empire, involved in the miseries of intestine war. 

19 Livingston's Life, pp. 29 and 75-6. The following inscription, writ- 
ten by Blair, waa engraved on his tomb-stone in the church-yard at Irvine. 
Life, p. 89. 

** Hie Cunninghaini recubat Roberti 
Corpus. O qualis genius latebat, 
Quam divinus fragili involutes, 

Pulvere in isto ! 
Acrius nemo intonuit superbis ; 
Nemo dejectos magis erigebat ; 
Sed Dei laudes celebrando, vicit 

Seque aliosque." 

I have given this epitaph as it stands in the printed " Life." The classi- 
cs! reader will perceive the want of a syllable in the third line. This de- 
ficiency, a learned friend suggests, might be supplied by adding qm to the 
first word of the line, which was probably written quamq. and the abbrevi- 
ated particle omitted by the transcriber. 


Wentworth, having obtained from his obsequious parlia- 
ment the unconditional supplies he demanded, and, from the 
English court, the extraordinary powers necessary to conduct 
his administration without domestic control, did not permit 
his authority to remain long dormant. He immediately 
commenced the vigorous prosecution of those plans which he 
had been meditating, for augmenting the revenues, and ex- 
tending the power, of the crown in Ireland. These favourite 
objects he pursued in the most arbitrary manner, with a dis- 
regard of the acknowledged rights of the subject, scarcely ever 
equalled by the most imperious or despotic sovereign. In 
prosecuting the Western plantation, formerly projected, he 
hesitated not to confiscate the entire province of Connaught, 
though the proprietors, under patents from the crown, had 
long enjoyed undisturbed possession of their estates. The 
ingenuity of the court-lawyers discovered defects in their titles 
sufficient to render them invalid in the eyes of the rapacious 
deputy, who lost no time in carrying into effect this daring 
plan of spoliation. Juries were summoned in the several 
counties, who pronounced the king^s title valid ; and the pro- 
prietors, either allured by the promises, or intimidated by the 
threats, of Wentworth, surrendered their estates to his dispo- 
sal, and were content to re-purchase them, a third-part being 
reserved for the projected plantation. The county of Galway 
alone opposed his designs, Its jury refused to find for the 
crown. For this just and resolute maintenance of their rights, 
they suffered severely. The sheriff was fined a thousand 
pounds for returning so intractable a jury. Each juror was 
fined in the Castle Chamber four thousand pounds, and im- 
prisoned until this exorbitant sum was paid. The entire 
county was pronounced duly forfeited to the crown ; and in 
the re-granting of the lands* a larger proportion was name d 
for the purposes of the plantation, than in any of the other 
counties of Connaught. lie extorted the emntmons sum of 
fifteen thousand pounds from the O'Bynes of Wicklow, un- 
d*rasimuWpmeneeofdc4ect of title; so that the most pow- 

AJ>. 1685. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 209 

crful nobility in the kingdom* terrified by these arbitrary pro*' 
ceedings, voluntarily surrendered their patents; and, after the 
payment of heavy fines, were glad to take them out anew at 
increased rents. 

The Ulster colonists did not escape this rapacious inquisi* 
tion. He subjected their titles to a rigorous and minute ex- 
amination, and where he found the least default in fulfilling 
die numerous and expensive conditions of their grants, he 
oompelled them to renew their patents, for which he extorted 
considerable sums. The corporation of the city of London 
in particular suffered severely, under this iniquitous system. 
An action against them had been, for some time, pending in 
the star-chamber court in England, for the non-fulfilment of the 
conditions, under which they held the county of Londonderry, 
and the cities of Derry and Coleraine. This suit was now 
urged on more vigorously by Wentworth ; and in the year 
1637, they were sentenced to pay, to the crown, the exorbitant 
fine of seventy thousand pounds ; their patent was revoked ; 
their lands were seized in the name of the king ; and bishop 
Bramhall was appointed receiver-general of all their Irish 

Not only were the rights of property thus outrageously 
violated, but the personal liberty of the highest subjects 
was unceremoniously invaded ; and even their lives were 
endangered, when they opposed the views of the ambitious 
and vindictive deputy. Impatient of contradiction, he in- 
flicted severe and unwarranted punishment on the slightest 
appearance of resistance to his will, or disregard of his au- 
thority. Such was the case with Sir Piers Crosby, a privy 
counsellor and distinguished soldier ; with Loftus the lord 
chancellor ; and with Lord Mountnorris, the vice-treasurer. 
The latter, a nobleman of unblemished character, for an 
indiscreet though ambiguous expression, uttered in private, 
and suspected of conveying an imputation injurious to 
the character of the deputy, was summarily deprived of 
his commission in the army, by a court-martial of which 

vol. i. p 


Wentworth, his prosecutor, was president ; he was declared 
incapable of serving his majesty in any capacity ; and was 
sentenced to be beheaded or shot at the option of his accuser t 
In the same arbitrary manner Wentworth regulated the 
commerce of the kingdom ; established monopolies; laid heavy 
duties on the importation of merchandise; prohibited the ex- 
portation of many of the valuable products of the coun- 
try ; and crushed the woollen manufactures, which were just 
beginning to flourish. On the other hand, it is due to his 
memory to state, that he diverted the trade of the kingdom 
into new and more profitable channels. He laid the founda- 
tion of the linen manufacture, and expended a considerable 
portion of his private property in its advancement ; confidently 
foretelling the permanent benefit of which it would be pro- 
ductive : (M) a prediction that attests the sagacity of Went- 

* I am inclined to think that Wentworth's exertions, on behalf of the 
linen manufacture of Ireland, have been much overrated. The manufac- 
ture existed and was carried on, in Ireland, long before his time. An&V 
if we are to believe the sworn depositions of Sir John Qotworthy and 
others upon his trial, his proclamations for regulating the sale and size of 
yarn, Sec, were most vexatious and injurious to the trade ; while the ample 
teiiures made by his minions, of yarn alleged to be contrary to his regula- 
tions and therefore forfeited, were applied to his private use, and ruined 
the markets for its sale. A few notices of the early state of this staple 
manufacture, introduced into Ulster, and long exclusively conducted by the 
|)r*ftbyt<triaii*, may not be unacceptable. Linen was exported in small 
quantities from Ireland, so early as the year 1437. The act, SS Hen. vm. 
vhap. tt. passed by the Irish parliament in 1642, against forestalling, and the 
private sale of certain commodities, proves that linen yarn was then an 
artlt'lit of commerce. But the trade in yarn was very limited until after 
the plantation of Ulster. It is stated in the year 1670, that the manufae- 
fMrti had originated with the Scots in Ulster, and that within the pre v iew 
flirty years, (i. #. from 1630,) it had grown to a vast extent Macpbersont 
Dint, of Com. At the trial of Lord Wentworth in 1641, Sir John Clot- 
worthy deponed, " that yarn was the most native commodity of the kingdom, 
Mid |ml<t most (>art of the May rents, for it is that, the women work on, all 
fb# winter season." And Mr. Fltzgarret, a barrister, testified " that yarn and 
\Umi ninth was the staple commodity of Ulster— that the merchants bought 
tU* yarn and transported it to Lancashire— and that one hundred pounds 
wjrftti of yarn hath been sold and bought, in a market, in one day. w — Rush- 
wmlU, m. 410— 81. 

AJ>. 1695. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 211 

worth, and that has been amply realized in the industry and 
wealth which it has been the means of diffusing over Ulster. 
He repressed with vigour the depredations of pirate*, which 
had become very formidable, even in the Irish channel* He 
placed the collection of the revenue, under an efficient and 
salutary control ; and thereby saved a considerable sum an- 
nually. He reduced the army to a state of strict discipline, 
and freed the country from the oppressive grievance of an 
insubordinate soldiery. His administration, therefore, though, 
in one respect, culpable in the extreme, was, on the whole, 
productive of many benefits to Ireland, formerly a stranger 
to commerce or manufactures-— to order, or tranquillity. 

But from these and other schemes of internal improvement, 
Wentwarth's attention was recalled to more urgent concerns, 
arising out of the commotions which now began to prevail in 

The obnoxious measures employed by James for imposing 
prelacy on the Scottish church, which, at an early period, 
Caused many of her most eminent ministers to seek refuge in 
Ulster, were renewed by Charles, soon after his accession to 
the throne, with increased ardour. In these, as in all his 
other religious schemes, he was incited and directed by Laud, 
who had accompanied him in his visit to Scotland in the year 
163S, and had officiated at his coronation at Edinburgh, 
according to the unpopular and superstitious forms of the 
English church. (23) One of the earliest measures of the 

93 The following description of the mummery practised at the corona- 
tion of Charles, under Laud as master of the ceremonies, is given by a 
contemporary annalist " There was a four-nooked tassil in manner of an 
altar, standing within the kirk, having standing thereon two books, at least, 
resembling clasped books, called, blind books ; with two chandlers, and two 
wax-candles which were on light, and a bason wherein there was nothing. 
At the back of the altar, (covered with tapestry) there was a rich tapestry, 
wherein the crucifix was curiously wrought ; and as the bishops, who were 
in the service, passed by this crucifix, they were seen to bow their knee, 
said to beck [bow,] ; which, with their habit, was noted, and bred great 

fear of inbringing of popery. "—Spalding's Troubles, Glas. edit. p. 16. 



king was to obtrude upon the church those innovations 
in doctrine and worship, which Laud was endeavouring to 
render predominant in both the sister kingdoms. In Scot- 
land, however, whose national spirit and resources were unac- 
countably undervalued, the experiment was tried in its most 
obnoxious form. It was resolved to introduce both a new 
liturgy, and a new book of canons, in which a closer approx- 
imation to the Romish ritual should be made, than in die 
authorized formularies of the other churches of the empire. 
In the accomplishment of this object, the older Scottish 
bishops were studiously overlooked, and the prudent advices 
of the few, acquainted with the project, were indignantly 
rejected. The work was intrusted exclusively to four of the 
younger prelates, who were the creatures of Laud, and ambi- 
tious of securing his favour, — the sole avenue to preferment. 
They were directed by Charles to prepare draughts of the 
intended publications, and transmit them for correction to 
the archbishop at Lambeth. Under his auspices, they were 
successively printed ; and, with his own hand, he introduced 
those deviations from the English standards, which proved so 
peculiarly offensive to the Scottish nation, and betrayed too 
palpable a desire to revive some of the grossest abominations 
of popery. The book of canons was first completed. On 
the twenty-third of May, 1635, it was ratified by the king 
in council, and imposed on the nation by virtue of the royal 
supremacy alone. ** } This publication confirmed the sus- 
picions, which the people of Scotland had long entertained, of 
the design of Charles to annihilate the little portion of reli- 
gious freedom, left them by his lather. 

The enactments, contained in these canons, were of the most 
obnoxious character, and awakened very general indignation. 

94 Brodie, with his characteristic a ce ma t j and research, has corrected 
I*ing^ statecraft of tJasceasiuiswhk^iM 

of a distiact liturgy end canons, and not those of the English chorea. 
BrodSe, ii. 436% 7; and Note B> 5&*-6S ; compared with Lain* Hi. 

A.D. 1636. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 218 

The royal supremacy was rendered absolute and unlimited; 
No assembly of the clergy could be summoned but by the 
king; and they were even forbidden to hold any private 
meetings for expounding Scripture. Every ecclesiastical per- 
son, dying without issue, was directed to " leave his effects, or 
a great part of them," to the church. Communicants were 
compelled to receive the sacrament kneeling ; and the remain- 
ing portion of the elements was enjoined to be consumed in 
the church. A font was placed at the entrance, and an altar 
at the eastern extremity, of the church. Ordination, as if a 
sacrament, was conferred only at four particular seasons of the 
year ; and the practice of private confession and absolution 
was permitted and encouraged. (25) But, in addition to these 

25 It is curious to mark the progressive inculcation of the popish doctrine 
of auricular confession. The English canons, established in 1603, are en- 
tirely silent on the subject In the Irish canons, compiled, as the reader is 
aware, in the year 1634, it is introduced at the end of the 19th canon, 
the first part of which is precisely the same as the 22d of the English 
series. It directs the minister to give warning to bis parishioners a week 
before the administration of the communion, " for their better preparation 
Of themselves ;" and here the English one very properly ends. But to the 
Irish canon is added the following direction, which is still in force in the 
established church of Ireland, and which every minister thereof approves 
and promises to observe, — " and the minister of every parish — shall, the 
afternoon before the said administration, give warning by the tolling of the 
bell, or otherwise, to the intent, that if any have any scruple of conscience, 
or desire the special ministry of reconciliation, he may afford it to those 
that need it. And to this end, the people are often to be exhorted to 
enter into a special examination of the state of their own souls ; and that 
finding themselves either extreme dull, or much troubled in mind, they do 
resort unto God's ministers, to receive from them, as well advise and 
counsel for the quickening of their dead hearts, and the subduing of those 
corruptions whereunto they have been subject ; as the benefit of absolution 
. likewise, for the quieting of their consciences, by the power of the keys 
which Christ hath committed to his ministers for that purpose." Of this 
objectionable, though insidious enactment, both Laud and Wentworth 
approved. They were led to notice it by the following incident, which, at 
the same time, shows the character and bias of the men who enjoyed Laud's 
patronage. One of his favourites, Mr. James Croxton, had been recom- 
mended by the archbishop to Lord Mountuorris as his chaplain, and to 
Wentworth for preferment Straff. Lett, i 58, 82. The deputy soon 




■ reply, « the Irish 

that which be [Croxton] hath done is, for ought I 

fagtoiL* StnC Lett. n. 195. 212. In the Scottish the 

of national, wom, the popish tenets of i 

overtly iacakased. The following b a copy of the Scottish f ■« 
thai topic, extracted fern Wharton's Troubles tad Trial of Lend, p. lOf. 
• Canon 9. chap, la Aflwt iiaiiamnilri confession and absoaaneai haw 
been in eome places very much abused ; yet if any of the fjeoule be grieved 
is ■dad for any uelfcl or i 4f ntvT uainuitfid, and for the UB&efueaasf 
of his coaaeience, confess the sasse to the banwp or presbyter ; they shall, 
as they era bound, minister to die person so confessing, all spiritual conse- 
lations oat of die word of God ; sad shall not deay him the benefit of ab- 
i, after the nanoer which is prescribed in the Tha'tabon of the side, 

if the party shew himself truly penitent, and humbly desire to be absolved. 
And he shall not make known or reveal what hath been opened to him hi 
con fessi o n , or to any person whatsoever; except the crime be such, as by 
the laws of the realm, his own Hie may be called in question for roagraliag, 


byter was bound " to read, or cause divine service to be done 
according, to the form of the book of Scottish Common-prayer 
before all sermon ; and that he should officiate by the said 
book in all the offices, parts, and rubrics thereof." And by 
the fifteenth, " no presbyter or reader was permitted to pray 
extempore, or use any other form in the public service than 
that prescribed, under the penalty of deprivation." The book 
concluded with decreeing, " that no person should be ad- 
mitted to holy orders, nor suffered to preach, catechise, ad- 
minister the sacraments, or perform any other ecclesiastical 
function, without first subscribing these canons." Thus were 
the Scottish clergy, by a most absurd and unprecedented ty- 
ranny, compelled to declare their unconditional approbation 
af an unpublished liturgy, which they had no opportunity of 

The dissatisfaction created by the publication of the canons 
became more deep and general, when, in die following year, 
the long-expected liturgy appeared. On examination, it was 
found to be a transcript of the English service-book, with se- 
veral important alterations; all of which brought the prescribed 
worship into still closer conformity to the Romish ritual. 
These deviations from the English liturgy comprised a bene- 
diction or thanksgiving for departed saints, of whom a large 
number, connected with Scotland, was added to the popish 
saints of the British calendar. Various transpositions and 
alterations were introduced into the communion service, which 
countenanced the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in 
that ordinance ; and the rubric enjoined the officiating minis- 
ter to stand like the Romish priests, with his back to the 
congregation, and his arms extended, as if for elevating and 
adoring the consecrated elements. The sign of the cross was 
used in baptism, and the water in the font was changed and 
consecrated twice each month. Additional lessons from the 
Apocrypha were appointed to be read in public ; the use of 
the ring was enjoined in marriage ; and various rubrics were 
inserted to direct the people in the several gestures of bowing. 


fatting, and ■ ■^■Kf^g • j^e accuracy m 
being deemed mdispenmhle to f^M* canonical 
of dirme worship.* 1 * 

Hnefa as the people of Scotland mold hare dkreliahed the 
English liturgy, had it been p roposed to them, they were still 
less prepared to adopt that, now not merely uflrmi, but sum* 
jnanly imposed upon them by a royal proclamation f without 
either the appro bation of a parliament, or the sanction of a 
general assembly.^ From its obrkxis and ifl-judged assi- 
milation to the Romish ritual, it was believed to be no more 
than a translation of the mass ; while from the arbitrary man- 
ner in which it was mtrodneed, it was justly considered to be 
alike soJbrersrve of the rights, as of the religion, of the nation. 
Ko wonder then that all ranks cordially united in opposing 
it ; and when, in the month of July 1637, ** was > ** th* 
first time, used in the celebration of divine worship at Edin- 
burgh, a tumult arose in the church, the service was violently 
interrupted, and the officiating prelates were with difficulty 
preserved from the fury of the incensed multitude. w The 

" Collier, Ecc. Hist. ii. 768, 9. Neal,iL271. Bramhall, in a letter 
to Spottiswoode, archbishop of St. Andrews, thus congratulates him on 
the superiority of the Scottish liturgy, orer that of his own church ; — " I 
humbly thank your grace for your high farour, the book of Cosnmon- 
ptayer : glad I was to see it ; and more glad to see it suck as it is* to be 
envied in some dungs, perhaps, if one owned." Rawd. Papers, p. 40. 
This letter is dated on the 13th of August, and it is singular that firam- 
haD, at Deny, had not then heard of the riot at Edinburgh, mentioned in 
the text, which had o c cur red on the 23d of July, three weeks before he 
wrote: so slow was the transmission of intelligence in those days. 

^ It is worthy of notice, that even in Oxford, influenced and ruled as it 
was by its chancellor Laud, the alterations in the Scottish liturgy were not 
popular. One of WentworuVs news-mongers at the English court, in July 
1638, informs him, among other articles of intelligence; u They grow fool* 
ish at Oxford, for they had a question about the legality of ship-money; 
as also, whether the addUa and mberata in the Scottish liturgy, did gire just 
cause of scandal : but my Lord's grace of Canterbury hearing of it, forbad 
them fuch questions." Straff. Lett. ii. 181. 

* This riot, so memorable on account of its momentous results, was 
commenced, it is alleged, by an old woman, called Janet Geddes, ftnging 

< A.D. 1688. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 817 

■linigters and people, supported by nearly all the nobility of 
Scotland, found it necessary to unite more closely to defeat 
-the religious innovations of Charles, and to secure themselves 
against his indignation at their successful opposition to his 
plans. Deputies from the several parts of the kingdom, and 
from the various classes of society, assembled at Edinburgh. 
For their mutual protection and encouragement, they resolved 
to renew the National Covenant, in which they made a full 
profession of the reformed faith, abjured the errors of popery, 
and bound themselves by an oath to defend each other in re- 
sisting the recent impositions, on both their civil and religious 
rights, and to " support the king in the preservation of reli- 
gion, liberty and law.'' 1 This covenant was solemnly renewed 
at Edinburgh, for the third time since the Reformation, on 
the first day of March 1638. (29) In the course of two months, 
it was subscribed by all ranks, throughout nearly the entire 
kingdom, with the utmost alacrity and joy. 

These vigorous and well-concerted measures were followed 
by a general assembly of the church, which Charles, to con- 
ciliate the favour of those whom he was not yet able to coerce, 
permitted to meet at Glasgow in the month of November. It 
was attended by one hundred and forty ministers, and nearly 
one hundred elders, as commissioners from the fifty-three 
presbyteries of which the Scottish church was then compos- 

tbe three-legged stool on which she had been sitting at the head of the dean 
of Edinburgh, with this exclamation, — " Villain ! dost thou say mass at 
my lug ?" Balfour, in his " Stonie- Field Day,** quoted by Brodie, ii. 
p. 454, furnishes the following authentic account. " No less worthy of ob- 
servation is that renouned Christian valyancie of another godly woman of 
the same season ; for when sche hard a young man behind, sounding forth 
amen to that new composed comedie, sche quickly turned her about, and 
after sche had warmed both his cheeks with the weight of her hands, sche 
thus shot against him the thunderbolt of her zeal : * false thief, 1 said sche, 
f is there na uther pairt of the churche to sing mess in, but thou must sing 
it at my luge T n 

* The reader must not confound this National covenant, with the Solemn 
league and covenant adopted five years afterwards. 


©d/ 811 ' The Marquis of pr«nil»#in was the royal commis- 
sioner, and the celebrated Alexander Henderson, then mini- 
ster at Leuchars in Fifeshire, was unanimously elected mo- 
derator. Though die commissioner, on the seventh day of 
meeting, attempted to dissolve the assembly, and actually re- 
tired, when he found it was resolved to bring the prelates to 
a trial ; and though the bishops p ro t ested against, and for- 
mally declined, its jurisdiction ; yet die members were not de- 
terred from die firm and faithful performance of the duties 
incumbent upon them in this critical emergency. They sat 
aw the long period of thirty days, during which they held 
twenty-six sessions. They abolished prelacy, deposed the 
bishops, condemned the liturgy and book of canon*, and re- 
pealed all the obnoxious regulations imp osed upon the church 
since the commencement of the century. They re-establish- 
ed the presbyterian judicatories, and enacted many sahttary 
laws for preserving die independence of the church, securing 
the purity of the ministerial character, and prosneting piety 
and godliness throughout the land. 

The proceedings of this memorable assembly were received 
by the Scottish nation with enthusiastic delight. Bus, by 
Charles and his advisers, they were beheld with such unman 
sored indignation, that nothing less than an rmmeriiatp ap- 
peal to arms was considered sufficient to vindicate his insult- 
ed authority. He accordingly prepared to invade his native 
kingdom. He repaired to York, and, with a considerable 
force of horse and foot, advanced to the borders. The Scots 
were not slow to perceive and oppose the hostile designs of the 
king. They seised the principal fo r tr esses of the kingdom ; 
and marshalling a large army under general Leslie, an expe- 
rienced soldier, they proceeded to die south, to resist, what 
had now become, the aggression of a foreign power* 

» Stevenm* Hist, of the Chorea of Scot E. pp. 474—61, where a 
fell list ef the Astemhl j is gmtu 

A.0. 1687. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 219 


Wentworth alarmed fir the tranquillity of Ulster — Northern Presbyterians dis- 
affected to his g o ve r nme nt — Settlement of the banished ministers in Scotland 
—Intercourse between them and their firmer people in Ulster — Wentworth 
determines to overawe the Presbyterians — Cuts off their c om m u nic a tion with 
Scotland — Is aided by the prelates — Case of GalbraOh—andofPont — Bigour 
ofBramhaU — and of Leslie Correspondence between the hitter and Went- 
worth— Leslie's visitation charge — Origin of the Black oath— Is imposed 
on the Scots in Ulster-— Tyrannical proceedings in enforcing it— Lord 
Oaneboy's letters to Wentworth— Sufferings of the Presbyterians—Case of 
Henry Stewart 

Wentworth had been no unconcerned spectator of the pro- 
gress of the Scottish commotions. Alarmed at the ardour 
and unanimity with which the National Covenant had been 
renewed in Scotland, he was apprehensive lest that formidable 
bond should be introduced into the north of Ireland. 

He had good ground for this apprehension. The Soots in 
Ulster, irritated by his arbitrary and vexatious interference with 
their patents, and especially by his severities against the Lon- 
don corporation, which embarrassed and aggrieved a very nu- 
merous tenantry, were generally disaffected to his government. 
This disaffection was increased by the violence, with which the 
northern prelates urged conformity to the ritual of the Eng- 
lish church. Their favourite ministers had been grievously 
oppressed, and ultimately compelled to seek refuge in Scot- 
land. Persecution did not terminate with their banishment. 
A commission was issued by Wentworth, authorizing the 
bishop of Down ta arrest, in a summary manner, and to im- 


prison during pleasure, the non-cuuJuuiiists in his d iocem 
This commission, the flagrant illegality of which constituted 
one of the charges p t efen ed against the deputy on bis trial 
in Kngl a ™lj was diligently executed.* 1 * X umbers were com- 
mitted to prison, or forced to fly to Scotland ; while die great 
majority of the inhabitants, though yielding a reluctant con- 
formity, were the more firmly attached to the presbyterian 
church. Suffering under these grievances, both civil and re- 
ligious, it was not to be expected that the Scots in Ulster 
would remain indifferent to the events occurring in their na- 
tive country, which promised to emancipate it from the yoke 
of prelacy. On the contrary, they sympathised most deeply 
with their brethren and countrymen in their magnanimous 
efforts to subvert a system of tyranny and intolerance, similar 
to that under which they themselves were groaning. This 
sympathy was sustained by the consUnt communicatioo which 
existed with Scotland, and which was kept up especially by 
means of persons in trade. Several of the landed proprietors 
too, having estates in both kingdoms, were frequently passing 
and repassing, and thus maintained a community of feeling 
between the two countries. • 

But the opposition of the northern Presbyterians to the ad- 
ministration of Wentworth, was strengthened and increased 
by the affectionate intercourse which they maintained with 
their banished ministers, who had survived the storm of per- 
secution. These faithful men, whom they continued to re- 
gard with the deepest veneration, were settled in charges in 
their native country, shortly after their flight from Ireland. 
Early in the year 1638, Mr. Blair was chosen colleague to 
Mr. William Annan at Ayr, whence he was subsequently re- 
moved to St. Andrews. Mr. Livingston was, in the month 
of July following, admitted minister of Stranraer, from which 
charge he was, ten years afterwards, transported to Ancrum 
in Teviotdale. Mb. Jambs Hamilton was settled at Dura- 

1 Kmhworth, riiL 236 et scq. 

A.D. 1638. . CHURCH IN IRELAND. 221 

whence he was removed to Edinburgh. Mb. Dunbar 
was installed minister at Calder in Lothian ; and Mb. Col* 
VBBTwas settled at Paisley. Mb. M'Clelland, who had been 
admitted to the ministry in Ireland, was ordained in Kirk- 
cudbright ; qnd Mb. John Semplb, who had also preached 
occasionally in Ulster, became minister of Carsphairn in 
Galloway. Two other banished ministers, whose charges in 
Ireland cannot now be ascertained, were also admitted at this 
period to parishes in Scotland. These were Mb. Samuel 
Row, who was ordained as^xrileazue. to _Mr. Henry Macgill 
at Dunfermline ; and M ho was set- 

tled at Ballantrae in A] listers were 

xealous promoters of th< ^tional Cove- 

nant, and of the other measures, u; . .va the triumph of the 
presbyterian church in Scotland was ultimately secured. (3> 

They afforded their countrymen most important aid in 
that memorable work; and, for this reason, they were especially 
obnoxious to the prelatical party. Scarcely had they been 
elected to their respective charges, when the bishops, in a list 
of grievances and complaints submitted to the king in 1638, 
represented the settlement of these ministers as a grievous and 
flagrant contempt of ecclesiastical authority.* 4 * No fewer than 
four of them, to wit, Blair, Livingston, M'Clelland, and 
James Hamilton, were chosen members of the celebrated As- 
sembly at Glasgow, and took a prominent part in its proceed- 
ings. The Scottish prelates in their protest against the le- 
gality of that Assembly, alleged, as one ground of de- 
clining its jurisdiction, that, as these banished ministers were 
still lying under the censure of the church of Ireland, they 

9 Stevenson, ii. 312. 

s The following extract from a letter of the earl of Traquair, dated Ho- 
lyrood House, May 17, 16*38, to the marquis of Hamilton at London, at- 
tests their activity. " The pulpits are daily filled with those ministers 
who were lately put out of Ireland ; who, with some of their own, and 
some such other as come from other places of this kingdom, preach nothing 
but foolish seditious doctrine.'* Hardwicke Papers, ii. 107. 

4 Burnet's Mem. of the Dukes of Hamilton, p. 41. 


could nut therefore be qualified toll ^nlsii fir the sister church 
of Scotland. So torn as thk 4 dediDatare^ wtts presented t6 
die Assembly, the brethren, by desire of the court, vindicated 
themselves against this jan et iiyn . «The moderator,* writes 
a member of the assembly, who was present throughout 
all its deHberatkms, "desired the parties interested in tins 
calumny to dear themselves. Sundry of us could have wiah*. 
ed, that for the stoppuig of the mouths of that party, these bad 
not been chosen eostinmrnoners ; yet the excellent gifts of the 
men would not permit the election to nam by them. Iff. 
Hair, in name of the rest, in a brave c iteuip m c h jumuju n, 
showed at length, that all the censures that had mOen am 
them, were not only alone for adhering to die discipline of 
the church of Scotland, bat most wnjnsdy inflicted. He 
gave us all full satisfaction* — ** And Mr. Diekson, who, at 
being settled at Irvine, a port which had fr e qu e nt intercourse 
with die Irish, had been at pains to get certam information 
concerning that point, did likewise attest the same; and m 
end, the assembly was fuDy satisfied that die aj s junn in- 
flicted upon these and their brethren, were most unjust, and 
therefore were of no effect from the be ginnin g ; and that die 
church of Scotland, having no dependence en die church of 
Ireland, was under no necessity to regard their censures.'** 

Several of these ministers, being settled on the western coast 
of Scotland, had frequent conmiunication with Ulster; and 
so great was the veneration in which they were held, that 
many of their former hearers lemove d to Scotland, with no 
other view than to enjoy their ministry. Great numbers 
usually went over from Ireland at die stated celebration of the 
communion ; and, on one occasion, five hundred p ^w w w^ 
principally from the county of Down, visited Stranraer, to re- 
ceive that ordinance from the hands of Mr. Livingston. Tne 
Minister relates that, at another time, he b aptis e d eight 

i twenty children, brought over for that purpose by their 

» Jaaffic, L MM. Sswssssl ft. 37&» Bstfasrt Amah, ft. *U» 

A.D. 1686. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 323 

parents, unwilling to receive sealing ordinances from tne pre- 
latical clergy of Ireland. By means of an intercourse so en- 
dearing and reverential, the Irish ministers, notwithstanding 
their settlement in Scotland, continued to exercise a very 
powerful influence on the Scots in Ulster. This influence, 
k may reasonably be conjectured, would be exerted to foster 
and maintain a spirit, similar to that which had been so long 
preserved, and at length so successfully manifested, in Scot- 
land. Many of the northern Presbyterians, when visiting 
their native country, had subscribed the Covenant, and had 
witnessed with delight the beneficial results of the victory 
which had been there achieved. They returned to Ulster, 
more and more dissatisfied with the religious thraldom under 
which they were compelled to live, and disposed to embrace 
every proper opportunity, which might offer, to mitigate or es- 
cape its oppressive yoke. 

Wentworth, therefore, had good reason to be alarmed for 
the tranquillity of Ulster. His attention was first directed 
to its condition, by intimations from the English court, of 
die apprehensions entertained there of the Scottish residents. 
So early as the month of July 1688, Laud, the most punctual 
and unreserved of his correspondents, thus wrote to him :— 
" The Sootish business is extream ill indeed, and what will 
become of it God knows, but certainly no good, and his ma- 
jesty hath been notoriously betrayed by some of them. There 
is a speech here, that they have sent to know the number of 
Scotchmen in Ulster ; and that privately, there hath been a 
list taken of such as are able to bear arms, and that they are 
found to be above forty thousand in Ulster only. This is a 
very private report, and perhaps false, but in such a time aa 
this, I could. not think it fit to conceal it from your lordship, 
coming very casually to my ears."* 6 * About the same time, 
Charles, already determined on war, applied to Wentworth to 

« Straff. Lett it 185. 


ascertain what aid could be afforded him in his meditated i 
vasion of Scotland. The vigilant deputy, in reply, apprized 
his majesty of the unsettled state of the kingdom, and of Ul- 
ster in particular ; and stated the necessity of reserving the 
chief part of the Irish forces to overawe the northern Scots : 

" Sir George Radcliffe acquaints me your majesty's pleasure 
is, that I should certify my humble opinion, what strength 
is to be expected hence, in case these late distempers in Scot* 
land dispose that people to your majesty's trouble; which 
God avert. 

44 The army here consists of two thousand foot and six 
hundred horse, which, in a time better secured, is rather too 
little than otherwise, to ascertain the peace and tranquillity 
of this government and subject. For your majesty may be 
pleased to consider, the settling all the plantations of Con- 
naught, Munster, and other parts of the kingdom, is the. 
great work now upon our hands, and the people more apt, 
consequently, to stir upon so great an alteration as these will 
bring amongst them, than at another time ; and that there 
are great numbers of Scotish in Ulster, undoubtedly of the 
same affections your majesty finds in Scotland, and by so much 
the more diligently to be attended, by how much the nearer 
they are to the mutual encouragement and succours they may 
communicate, the one to the other. So as to draw forth any 
part of this small army might be a means to raise and spread 
the flame, to have the fire here also kindled, whilst they ,find 
us not in so full power to contain them, as now by God's 
blessing I conceive we are : And necessary it will be, 
however, in case the subjects of Scotland incline not them- 
selves to quietness and obedience, that your majesty give me 
early instructions what I am to do : especially (as I humbly 
conceive) that I may speedily draw the greatest part of our 
little N army into Ulster, as near Scotland as can be, and so 
ready and at hand to incline and bow every motion in their 
first beginnings to loyalty, safety and obedience : and per- 

A.D. 1688. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 225 

chance cause some little diversion on the other side, by rea- 
son of our being so close upon them."* 7 * 

Wentworth, thus sensible of the precarious state of Ulster, 
saw the necessity of acting with the utmost promptitude and 
vigour. He resolved to cut off all correspondence with Scot- 
land, to repress the northern Scots, and to collect an army in 
Ulster, either to co-operate with Charles by invading Scotland 
on the west, or to hold in subjection the Scottish residents 
at home. On this subject he again wrote, in the month of 
November, to his Majesty. " The colour I give this levy 
shall be the putting of a garrison of five hundred men into 

Carrickfergus, the Deny and Colerane, in regard 1 am 

informed the Scottish in these parts are observed all to ride 
up and down the country, armed with swords, which formerly 
they have not been accustomed to do. And, to cover the 
business the better, I propose so to handle the matter, as the 
council here shall advise, and avow these preparations for that 
end, which will be a means, I trust, to effect the service 
without the least thought of the true intent." And shortly 
afterwards he avows to Laud the confidence which he felt in 
the success of his measures ; — " if his majesty be pleased still 
to countenance me in my employment, and honour me with 
the trust of this army, I say confidently, by the blessing of 

7 Straff. Lett. ii. 187 — 8. The following passage from the same letter 
is worthy of notice for several reasons. " The earl of Antrim lately writ 
to me to be furnished of arms, and that the magazine for them might be 
kept at Coleraine. Communicate this with the council here I durst not, 
for I am sure they would never advise such strength to be intrusted with » 
grandchild of the earl of Tyrone. And for myself I hold it unsafe any 
store of arms should lye so near the great Scotish plantations in those 
parts ; lest if their countrymen grow troublesome, and they partake of the 
contagion, they might chance to borrow those weapons of his lordship, for 
a longer time and another purpose, than his Lordship would find cause to 
thank them for. They are shrewd children, not won much by courtship, 
especially from a Roman catholick." This was written in July 1688. 
Could this application of Antrim have any prospective connexion with the 
rebellion which broke out three years after, and in which the earl acted so 
conspicuous a part ? 

VOL. I. Q 


Almighty God and the prudent directions of his majesty, I 
will not only keep all here in peace, bring the Scottish to a 
conformity in our church-government, but, in case the earl of 
Rothes or his consorts touch upon Irish ground, send them 
and their coats home again, as well dusted as ever they had 
them in all their lives, how high or loud soever their boasts 
now carry the terror of their looks." w 

In addition to his military arrangements, Wentworth call- 
ed in the prelates to his assistance. He directed them to 
persevere in enforcing conformity ; to preach against the cove* 
nant, and the rebellion of the Scots ; w and to exercise a strict 
vigilance over all who might be suspected of maintaining any 
intercourse with the covenanters. The presentations to many 
parishes in Ulster being in the hands of Scottish noblemen 
possessing estates in the north, they generally conferred these 
benefices on their countrymen. Wentworth now entreated 
the bishops to obstruct, so far as they could, the settlement 
of any more Scottish ministers within their dioceses, unless 
well recommended for their hostility to the covenant and their 
adherence to the cause of prelacy. One or two cases will 
evince the vigilance employed in these affairs. 

Mr. Galbraith, a native of Scotland, was presented by a 
Scottish nobleman, probably the duke of Lennox, to the 
valuable living of Taughboyne in the county of Doncgall, 
near Deny; and was also appointed archdeacon of the diocese 
of Raphoe. But Laud, who exercised a patriarchal supre- 
macy over all ecclesiastical matters in the three kingdoms, 
suspecting him to have subscribed the covenant, directed 
Wentworth to suspend the appointment until this serious 
charge should be investigated. The deputy, obsequious in 
these matters, immediately assures the archbishop, that be 
may rely on receiving a prompt obedience to his commands : 
" Your grace may not only undertake for Taboin, but for all 
that is in my disposal, as oft as you shall be pleased to call 

8 Straff. Lett. ii. 233, 273. * Ibid. ii. 192. 

A.D. 1638. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 227 

for it." He assures Laud that Dr. Bruce, his confident and 
correspondent in Ulster, had also sent him " certain know- 
ledge that Galbraith had signed and sworn the covenant, so 
we are like to have a brave archdeacon of him ; nevertheless 
if himself may be trusted, all will be well, no doubt, or eke 
there is more ingenuity to confess truth in this gentleman, 
than I ever yet observed in puritan." After further corre- 
spondence relative to this appointment, Laud, though still 
acting solely on report, and disregarding the solemn disavowal 
of the individual himself, writes to Wentworth in these de- 
cided terms : " OaJbreth, that would have your great bene- 
fice, is a covenanter, there is certain news of it brought now 
to the king, and thereupon his majesty hath commanded me 
to signify unto you that you shall not give him the benefice. 
-—I hear further that this Galbreth hasted out of Scotland for 
killing a man there ; but I am not so certain of this, as I 
am that he is a covenanter, that is, upon the matter, that he 
is a traytor. , " (10) 

- M Straff. Lett ii. 195, 230. Thomas Bruce, D.D. mentioned in the text, 
was archdeacon of Raphoe, and incumbent of Taughboyne, or Taboin, in 
the year 1622. See Appendix, No. I. He also enjoyed these dignities in 
1641, as appears from a complaint which he then preferred to the Long 
parliament against the bishop of Raphoe. Com. Journ. July 28, 1641. 
It is probable that Bruce had been raised about this time (1638) to some 
higher preferment, and Galbraith appointed to succeed him in Taboin ; 
and when the settlement of the latter was obstructed by Laud, through his 
interference, that he continued to hold his former dignities ; but that Gal- 
braith, haying cleared himself from the charge of being a covenanter, had 
been subsequently inducted by the bishop into his preferment ; and that 
Bruce, unwilling to resign it, bad sought the interference of the English 
commons, disposed, as he well knew, to entertain with favour any com- 
plaint against a bishop. This supposition is rendered still more probable 
by the fact, that Carte makes frequent mention of archdeacon Galbraith 
as an active negotiator in Ulster in the year 1645 on the royalist side, and 
gives the following character of him : " Mr. archdeacon Galbraith, a Scot 
by original, but well affected to episcopacy and monarchy, a man of very 
good sense and learning, great prudence and full as great resolution, and 
esteemed by all the British officers and gentlemen in those parts," u e. the 
north-west of Ulster. Carte, i. 531. Both Laud and Wentworth had tberfr 
fore permitted themselves to be imposed on, without inquiry, by $ruce, 


In another case, the conduct of Land and Wentworth was 
equally unjust and op p res si v e . Mr. Pont, a minister in the 
diocese of Raphoe, was noted for declining to use the pre- 
scribed ceremonies of the church, and for condemning in his 
sermons the increasing severities, together with the unscrip- 
tural jurisdiction, of the prelates. It appears that he had also 
held meetings for worship and public preaching, contrary to 
the canons ; and that his wife had, in some way, signalised 
herself by her opposition to prelacy, and her frequenting of 
these more private assemblies. He was countenanced by se- 
veral persons of influence, and among others, by Sir William 
Stewart, who had expressed a very strong indignation against 
the opp r e ss ions of the ecclesiastical courts. Sir William had 
also compelled the apparitor of the bishop's court, while it was 
sitting, to appear before him and other magistrates, probably 
to answer complaints pre fe rred against his oppressive conduct. 
The bishop, resenting this procedure as a studied insult to the 
authority of the church, reported the matter to Wentworth, 
in conjunction with the sermons of Pont, and the sectarian- 
ism of his wife ; and, at the same time, he retailed some obso- 
lete scandal respecting Sir William's moral character, to serve 
as a separate ground of action before the high-commission, 
should the other charges not be satisfactorily substantiated. 
On receiving this varied intelligence, Wentworth had imme- 
diate recourse to his spiritual adviser ; and all these urgent 
and momentous affairs of state are communicated to Laud, 
and by him to Charles. The archbishop lost no time in is- 
suing his directions. " These are briefly to let you know 
that I am so sensible of the business of Pont and his wife in 
the diocese of Rapho, that I have put it again to bis majesty's 
serious consideration, and thus he hath commanded me to 
write to your lordship. 

" He would have the bishop of Rapho to deprive Pont of 
his benefice for the wild sermon he made against the bishop's 

whose interest it was to misrepresent Galbraith. Thus summarily were 
tie characters and fortunes of men consigned to ruin, at that period, on a 
bare s up position, supported by interested calumny ! 

A.D. 1688. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 229 

jurisdiction) and to proceed against his wife in such way as 
her fault deserves, and the laws will bear : and if the crime 
be not of too old a date, his majesty would have Sir William 
Stewart questioned for that whoredom and bastardy ; but 
howsoever that fall out, bis majesty's command is, that if Sir 
William Stewart do not give your letters a good answer, and 
yourself satisfaction in the publick way, you are to remove 
him from being a counsellor in that state, which he serves no 
better."* 11 ) 

These royal mandates were promptly obeyed by the deputy, 
who thus replied to Laud ; — " As for that business betwixt 
my Lord of Rapho and Sir William Stewart, it is put into 
a way of examination, and the cause will have publication 
this next term ; there shall be all care possible taken, and if 
the bishop make good his charge, as in truth I am persuaded 
he will, believe me the other shall smart ; my eyes are open 
upon it, as well knowing what the consequences of such be- 
ginnings shewing themselves, if not early prevented and 
stopped. Ponts wife is here in the castle ; and for the ex- 
amination and punishment of that conventicle, I have put it 
to the high-commission, who will effectually and soundly pro- 
ceed therein. Pont himself and some other of the principal 
are got into Scotland ; {U) and as for the bastardy, I conceive 
it will be best to see how Sir William acquits himself in this 

11 Straff. Lett. ii. 245. Laud, with some presentiment of the character 
and results of the General Assembly then sitting at Glasgow, thus dates his 
letter to Wentworth ; " Lambeth, Wednesday, November 21st, 1638, the 
day of the sitting down of the Assembly in Scotland." 

12 It is not improbable that this Mr. Pont was a relative of the Scottish 
reformer, Robert Pont, who had two sons in the ministry, one of whom 
was married to a daughter of John Knox. If so, be bad been settled in 
this diocese, through this connexion, under the auspices of the late bishop 
Knox. Though I have not been able to ascertain his parish, I am inclined 
to believe that Mr. Pont succeeded Mr. Cunningham at Ramelton, (see 
note < 9 > chap ii.) where his name is still preserved by tradition. I find 
from the following pamphlet, that Sir William Stewart's agent was another 
Mr. Pont, probably son to this persecuted minister ; " Special good news 
from Ireland, &c. &c. in three letters to Mr. Abraham Pont, solicitor for 
the said Sir William, in London." Lond. 1643. 


business, and thereupon to stir the prosecution, or let it rest, 
as occasion shall serve." 

When this important cause came to be tried at the council- 
board. Sir William proved he was not aware the bishop's 
court was sitting, when he compelled its officer to appear 
before him and his brother justices. He was consequently 
acquitted of the wilful contempt of the bishop's authority 
alleged against him ; but the vigilant deputy seizing on cer- 
tain words which he had used, reflecting on the ecclesiastical 
courts* " gave him a very round and public rebuke for his 
puns." (l * Mrs* Pont was treated with excessive rigour* 
She lay ia prison for nearly three years, till liberated after the 
&U wf Wr relentless persecutor, by the interference of the 
tmh parliament* {W 

Wemworth, conscious that Sir William Stewart was by no 
»k*n« the ojahr one of the northern gentry, tainted with puri- 
tattistm* nwolved to proceed against every one suspected of this 
Hvt*wft ulfofteeA Neither rank nor sex escaped his severity. 
He thua uVvelopes his plans to Laud, to whom the intelli- 
^tHtt vvukl not tail to be acceptable: — " I have given 
vltYWf ton that the Lady Clotworthy and some of die princi- 
y*\ iHweouformists shall be convened before the high-commis- 
Mt»ii 1 ami t>Vr it be long, if I may be believed, and but let 
aUmhs vn ill bring them under the obedience of their ordinary, 
I hiah«|K | or send them back to their fellows in Scotland, 
|tWiti£ better subjects in their steads." < 15 > 

lu ihiW juruevedings the deputy was supported by most of 
k\\v tuMthwii bishops. The seal and activity of Bramhall 

!■* Miutr. U«. it 27tx 337. 

»i Atautt MS.— 1 find from the journals of the Irish commons (i. 879; 
!4».i \ taat in May, l«4K Mrs. Pont, who had been recently set at liber- 
t* ( H v«^«k>a « )**«*"* to the house, complaining of the conduct of the 
tn-lwn v*< rU*»*v» in Ukpdly imprisoning her, &c The house resolved 
Ikit i W Htofc»|» •• Wad run into prmmwm tor committing of her by his own 
iMIiiiiiiy .- iumI »vKr«vd ta* matter to the house of lords. In these pro- 
• w ••lliitf.. Mu. rSuii U MvWd. - Mrs. Isabel Pont, alias Stewart, widow;" 
irlH-iiM. II *|>|>»*u ih*t fcwr hunband must hare died soon after he had fled 
Mi HhiiIiiimI h it u« unlikely she was a relative of Sir William Stewart. 

H miaM l*l|. li iw, * 7 a Se*notc « chap, it 


drew forth his special commendation ;— " Your Lordship's 
course," writes Wentworth in one of his letters to that pre- 
late, " taken and intended against the two packs of rogues 
and petty rebels there [about Deny,] I do both well approve 
of, and desire your lordship it may effectually be pursued, 
thanking your lordship for the advertisement thereof. And 
for the clergyman you have committed for his lewd praying 
for the prosperous success of Scotland in the maintenance of 
religion ; if there be sufficient good witness thereof, as it is 
likely there may be enow, I desire your lordship that he may 
be forthwith very safely conveyed up hither, with sufficient 
proof thereabouts, and examinations, if any be taken there- 
in/ 1 < 16 > 

But the deputy's most active supporter was bishop Leslie. 
His conduct towards the presbyterian ministers in his diocese, 
already narrated, evinced him to be a fit agent for the work 
of persecution. He now cordially co-operated with Went- 
worth in all his arbitrary measures, and displayed much of 
that mean servility which usually characterises the persecutor. 
The following letters convey so clear an idea of the state of 
Ulster at this period, and of the additional severities prepared 
for the ill-feted non-conformists, that no apology seems neces- 
sary for inserting them at length. 

" The Lord Bishop of Downe to the Lobd Deputy. 

" Most honourable my singular good Lord, 

" Although it becometh not me to make any address unto 
your lordship but by petition, yet the matters wherein I am 
to inform requiring secrecy, I hope your lordship will give 
me leave to direct them unto your lordship in an enclosed 
letter. There is one Robert Adaire, (,7) a justice of peace in 

" Rawd. Pap. p. 43. 

] 7 The person alluded to by Leslie was Sir Robert Adair, knt of Kik 
hill or Kinhilt, in Wigtonshire. His Irish property lay at Ballymena in 
Antrim, and is still possessed by a lineal descendant of the same name. 


the county of Antrim, of five hundred pounds lands 
who having some estate in Scotland, both joined himself unto 
the faction there, signed the covenant, received the oath of 
rebellion, and now when the Marquis [of Hamilton] was last 
in Scotland, he was one of the commissioners for the country 
against the king, and one of them who were appointed to 
watch the king's castle [at Edinburgh] that no provision 
should be carried in. I believe that if there were a strict 
inquiry, there will be found others who have estates in this 
kingdom have done the like. 

" All the puritans in my diocese are confident, that the 
arms raised against the king in Scotland, will procure them a 
liberty to set up their own discipline here amongst themselves, 
insomuch that many whom I had brought to some measure 
of conformity, have revolted lately ; and when I call them in 
question for it, they scorn my process ; if I excommunicate 
them, they know they will not be apprehended, in regard of 
the liberty their lords have of excluding all sheriffs. Besides, 
it grieveth my heart to hear how many who live in Scotland, 
who coming over hither about matter of trade, do profess 
openly that they have signed the covenant, and justify what 
they have done, as if the justice of this kingdom could not 
overtake them. These things I have presumed to represent 
unto your lordship. So humbly craving pardon for my bold- 
ness, I pray God to bless your lordship with all health and 
happiness, and to continue long amongst us for the good of 

He was sheriff of the county of Antrim in 1 630. He escaped the fangs of 
his prelatical persecutor at this period, and fled to Scotland. But he was 
nevertheless indicted for treason and his property confiscated. In August 
1639, Wentworth thus writes respecting him to Sir Henry Vane, one of 
the secretaries of state ; — " There is one Mr. Adaire, a man of some four 
hundred pounds land, who went over into Scotland to rebel it there with 
the rest of that faction, and hath played his part notably and insolently. 
This fellow I caused to be indicted of treason ; but I stay prosecution till 
I may farther have his majesty's direction therein, which I pray you to 
procure me ; but had his majesty continued at Berwick, within these few 
days, I should have procured a good confiscation to the crown." Straff. 
Lett ii 496. 


this church and kingdom. So prayeth your lordship's most 
humble servant and daily orator, 

" Hen. Dunbnsis." 
« Lisncgarvic, [Lisburn,] 2SM of September 1638." 

" The Lord Deputy to the Lord Bishop of Downs. 

u My very good Lord, 

" This, with your permission, will be an answer to yours 
of the 22d of September. As concerning Robert Adaire you 
therein mention, I now send for him, but till his coming up, 
take not the least notice what the cause is moving me there- 
unto, and must, in this regard, desire your lordship also to 
keep the occasion of it to yourself, till you hear again from 
me, which shortly after his arrival here, you shall not fail to 

" In my opinion your lordship should do very well private- 
ly to enquire out the names of all others that have danced 
after the same pipe, as also of all such as profess themselves 
covenanters, and send them hither to me ; in the rest of the 
proceedings your lordship shall not be so much as once 
touched upon, or heard of. 

" If your lordship be pleased to send me, by the bearer, 
the list of such as have revolted from their conformity, and 
stand in contempt of your process, as also the places of their 
abode, I will not fail speedily to send our pursuivants for 
them, who shall apprehend and render them subject to the 
ecclesiastical courts, and under the jurisdiction of their or- 

" Nor is this a business to be neglected, or faintly to be 
slipped over, but quickly and roundly to be corrected in the 
first beginnings, lest dandled over long, the humour grow 
more churlish and difficult to be directed and disposed to 
the peace of the church and commonwealth, especially in a 
time when the assumptions and liberty of this generation of 


people threaten to much dktmedon and unqnietnm to bath, 
and therefore as I much r eco mme n d your lordship's sual 
therein, so will it be ever becoming your lordship*s piety and 
courage confidentially to oppose and withstand their disobe- 
dience and madness, as hitherto you have done, wherein you 
may be assured of all the assistance that rests in the power of 
your lordship's very affectionate faithful friend to serve you, 

" Wentwobth." 
- Dublin, Oct. 4, 1638." 

44 Bishop Leslie to the Loan Deputy. 

•« Most Noble and Gracious Lord, 

44 Mr. Adair not being yet returned out of Scotland, I have 
presumed to take the letter from the messenger, and have 
adjured him to the like secrecy, as your lordship hath en* 
joined me, fearing lest he should have inquired after him, 
the danger would be suspected. And I humbly pray, that 
your lordship would be pleased to charge Mr. Iindan, now 
mayor of Carrickfergus, with the delivery of the letters, who 
being a principal officer of the custom-house, must needs 
know of his arrival. 

44 I know there are many in my diocese and other parts of 
this kingdom, who have joined in this conspiracy, but I am 
not able to make proof against them, if they should deny it : 
For of late I have had no intelligence out of Scotland, all 
letters that come unto me are intercepted. (lt) Besides, my 

18 One of the intercepted letters, of which Leslie here complains, is in 
tlw Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. It is dated March 19, 1638, and is 
from Mr. David Mitchell, one of the prelatical ministers of Edinburgh, 
who appears to have been the bishop's chief correspondent. This Mitchell 
was deposed by the general assembly at Glasgow, in the November fol- 
lowing. His character is thus given by fiaillie : — " This long time he 
had delighted to grieve the whole land with the doctrine of the faction, 
Armiiuanism in all the beads, and sundry points of popery, proved by 
sundry witnesses ; besides his declining the assembly, which alone, accord- 

AJ>. 1636. CflUKCH IN JSELAND* 285 

friends, from whom I had wont to receive my information, 
live at Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and know not what is done 
in the west parts of that country, whither only our people do 
resort ; yet I will use all means to discover them* And in 
the mean time, I dare say that these persons whom I present 
to your lordship, are guilty ; because they are notable non- 
conformists, and have been lately in Scotland. Robert Barr 
of Malone, Robert Niven of Belfast, George Martin of the 
same, and David Kennedy and Robert Rosse, who have fled 
this kingdom for fear of the high-commission, but have left 
their land behind them. (19) 

ing to the acts of our church, imports deposition : — no man could have 
kept such a one in our church without serious repentance for hit manifold 
avowed errors." — Baillie, i. 123. 

19 Of these persons, specified by the bishop as ' notable non-conform- 
ists/ I have been able to glean but few notices. Robert Babr was an ex- 
tensive merchant, and traded, under a special license, between Scotland and 
Ireland. He also kept extensive iron-works at Malone. He was particu- 
larly obnoxious to Wentworth, who, in a letter to Laud in the preceding 
year, thus bitterly and satirically complains of his officious misrepresenta- 
tions, " There is one Mr. Barre, a Scotishman by nation, whose person 
your grace once saw before you at the committee for Irish affairs, at my 
last being in England. This gentleman that pretends to be a merchant, 
but indeed is scarce so good as a petty chapman, hath procured a special 
license under the signet and signature royal of going and coming over with- 
out my comptrol, under which he magnifies himself extreamly, as exempt, 
if not above, any power of mine : And thus leaping like a Jackanapes 
betwixt two stools, holds on this side very inward intelligence with some 
here* which wish me ill, blown up by them boldly to calumniate me there, 
whilst they know my actions here over well, ever to dare to appear in my 
contrary. There on that side he procures, by some very near bis majesty, 
access to the king ; there whispering continually something or another to 
my prejudice ; boasts familiarly how freely he speaks with his majesty, 
what he saith concerning me, — ' and rum,* ant pleese your mejuty, td toerdt 
mare count your debuty of YrhtmL" Lett. ii. 107— George Martin was 
son of Josiah Martin, who, in the reign of Elizabeth, accompanied Sir 
Arthur Chichester to Ireland in a military capacity, and received many 
favours from him ; he had a country-seat at Whitehouse near Belfast. 
His son George, mentioned by Leslie as having fled to Scotland, after- 
wards returned and settled at Belfast. He was a staunch presbyterian, 
and, in republican times, like the rest of his brethren, a firm loyalist. On 


" As for those who contemn my process, and oppose my 
jurisdiction, they are more in number than would fill all the 
gaols in Ireland ; but the church-wardens are the deepest in 
that guilt, who will present none, who are disobedient to the 
government, and to that purpose they are chosen. As in 
Scotland they are entered into a bond to defend one another 
by arms, so it seems that in my diocese they have joined in 
a bond to defend one another by their oaths. I have there- 
fore, in obedience to your lordship's commands, sent a list 
of these church-wardens, extracted out of my registry : If it 
may so please your good lordship to make all or some of 
them examples, it will strike a terror in the rest of that 

" Since his majesty hath been pleased to condescend so 
far unto them in Scotland by his last proclamation, against 
which, notwithstanding, they have protested ; -a copy of both 
1 have sent to my Lord of Derry, there is such insulting 
amongst them here, that they make me weary of my life. 
And, as I am informed, they are now drawing a petition to 
his majesty, that they may have the like favour in Ireland, 
as is granted to their fellows in Scotland, which I hope your 
lordship in your deep wisdom will prevent. My officers have 
been beaten in open court. I have sent a warrant for appre- 
hending of the parties, by virtue of a writ of assistance from 
your lordship, whereof I never made use before, and if I 
apprehend them, I will keep them in restraint, till your 
lordship's pleasure be known. They do threaten me for my 

the seizure of Belfast by Venables in 1649, he happened to be sovereign, 
or chief municipal officer of the town, and refused to billet the republican 
troops ; on which they pillaged bis house, seized his goods and chattels at 
Whitebouse, and he and his family with difficulty escaped their vengeance. 
From him are descended the present family of Martins, baronets of Lock- 
inge, Berkshire. Edmon. Baron, iv. 210. David Kennedy was mini- 
ster at Newtonards in the county of Down : And Robebt Rosse was of 
the parish of Bangor, in the same county. Both were afterwards excom- 
municated by the high-commission court for their non-conformity. Robebt 
Niven of Belfast I have not seen elsewhere mentioned. 

A.D. 1636. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 287 

life ; but, by the grace of God, all their brags shall never 
make me faint in doing service to God and the king. I crave 
your lordship's humble pardoti for this tedious letter ; and 
pray God to increase and multiply all his blessings upon your 
lordship. This is the constant prayer of your lordship* most 
humble servant and daily orator, 

" Hen. Dunbnsis." «"» 
« October 18, 1638." 

These letters of the bishop were regularly transmitted to 
Laud, to whom, from the intelligence they contained, they 
would not fail to prove deeply interesting, if not, in some 
degree, alarming. The intimation of a petition from the 
northern Scots, praying the king to indulge them in the free 
exercise of their religious worship and government in Ulster, 
as he had granted to their countrymen in Scotland, was pecu- 
liarly offensive to the archbishop. For he immediately 
wrote to Wentworth on the subject, in these decided terms : 
" Whereas the bishop writes, he is informed that some Scots 
in Ireland are drawing a petition to his majesty, that they 
may have the like favour in Ireland, which is granted to 
them in Scotland. y To this his majesty says, you may make 
this answer, That whatsoever he hath indulged to Scotland, 
is because they have there had sometime a church-government, 
such as it was, confused enough, without bishops ; but for 
Ireland it hath been ever reformed by and to the church of 
England ; and your lordship, his majesty hopes, will keep 
the people steady to that ; and the Scotishmen which will 
live there, your lordship must see that they conform them- 
selves to it, or if they will not, they may return into Scotland, 
and leave honester men to fill the plantations." <* !) 

Leslie, not content with stirring up the civil power against 
the non-conformists, resolved to try the force of threats and 
invectives, now especially formidable in consequence of the 

*> Straff. Lett ii. 2)9, 20, and 220, 7. 
81 Ibid, ii 231. 


promised support of the deputy. Accordingly, at his annual 
visitation, held at Lisburn during the interval between the 
two letters which he addressed -to Wentworth, he delivered to 
his clergy and to the laity there assembled, a long and ela- 
borate charge. His principal object in this discourse is, to 
condemn the conduct of the Scottish people in resisting the 
religious innovations of Laud, and the tyrannical attempts of 
the court to impose them on the nation. This he does in 
the bitterest terms. He labours to show the unlawfulness of 
the covenant lately sworn in that kingdom, and attributes the 
conduct of its adherents to the most dishonourable motive* 
At the same time, he complains of the prevalence of non-con* 
forming principles in his diocese, and warns bis auditors, 
both lay and clerical, of the danger which may accrue from 
persisting any longer in their disobedience to his ecclesiastical 
authority. (W) A few extracts from this charge are necessary 
to complete the view, of the religious condition of a large 
portion of Ulster, already given in his correspondence with 

" And now, my brethren of the clergy, and all you gentle- 
men of the laity, I entreat your attention, while I shall ex* 
press myself in some things that concern my pastoral charge. 
Some things I have to say that concern the clergie onely, 
some things that concern the church-wardens, and somewhat 
that doth concern both the clergie and the laity. 

28 This charge was soon after printed with the following title : " A 
full confutation of the covenant, lately swome and subscribed by many in 
Scotland ; delivered in a speech at the visitation of Down and Connor, 
held in Liauegarvy [Lisburn] the 20th of September, 1638. Published 
by authority." London, 1639, 4to. pp. 36. So anxious was Leant 
for the preservation and circulation of this production, that, at his own 
request, one of his chaplains shortly after published a Latin translation 
of it, thus entitled : " Examen conjurationis Scoticae : Sive oratio habits 
Lisnegarvsa, in visitatione Dioeceseos, Dunensis et Connorensis, 26 Sep- 
tets. 1638. In qua, ad convincendos quos ecclesia nostra habet uo» 
conformes, foedus, confessio et juramentum mutuse tutelar, quibus apud 
Scotos hodie subscribitur, enucleantur et penitus convelluntur : per Rev. 
in Ch. P. Hen. Dunensem. Latinitate donavit, Jacobus Portussua, dicto 
Rev. P. ex sacris domesticis." DubL 1680. 4to. 

A.D. 1688. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 239 

" As for you of the clergie, there is generally a great fault 
in you in the neglect of catechising. (S3> You know that you 
are bound to it by the canons of the church, bound by an act 
in my first visitation, and though ye regard neither of these, 
as I know many of you do not, yet consider, I beseech you, 
that ye are bound to it in consciences. It is milk for babes, 
whereas preaching is meat for men that are of age, who have 
their wits exercised * to discern both good and evil/ But you 
cannot abide to give milk, and are all for strong meat, albeit 
there are many of you who are not well able to chew it 
Preaching amongst you is grown to that esteem that it hath 
shuffled out of the church, both the publique prayers which is 
the immediate worship of Ood, and this duty of catechising ; 
and is now accounted the sole and onely service of God, the 
very consummatum est of all Christianity, as if all religion 
consisted in the hearing of a sermon. Unto whom I may say 
in the words of the apostle, ' What ? Is all hearing ? Is the 
whole body an eare ?' (S4> Or, tell you in the words of a most 

83 By the presbyterian ministers neglecting to catechise, as here charged 
against them by the bishop, is meant solely their refusing to use the cate- 
chism of the episcopal church, especially at the time prescribed in the ru- 
bric, that is, as a part of the public service of the church. No class of mi- 
nisters have been so uniformly faithful and laborious in teaching and cate- 
chising both the old and young of their charges, as the presbyterian clergy 
have been, wherever settled. 

** This quotation, with others in the bishop's writings, is taken from 
the Geneva translation, in use prior to the present authorised version of 
the Bible, which was completed and published in 1611. The Scot- 
tish divines, of all parties', adhered to the Geneva Bible, until about the 
year 1640, when the present translation, originally designed only for the 
English church and too partial to prelacy, was at length silently established 
in general use. — Memorial for the Bible Societies in Scotland, p. 87, et 
seq. Much exceedingly curious and most valuable information respecting 
the progress of printing in Scotland, the earlier editions of the Scriptures, 
and other collateral topics of considerable interest to the general reader, is 
to be found in this ' Memorial,* which, though anonymous, was written by 
the Rev. John Lee, D.D. F.R.S.E., one of the ministers of Edinburgh, 
and principal clerk to the General Assembly. No one who has the happi- 
ness of being acquainted with Dr. Lee, but must join in the regret express- 


reverend prelate, « That if you be the sheep of Christ, you 
have no mark of his sheep, but the eare-mark.' And there- 
fore, to conclude this point, if you will not hereafter make 
conscience of this duty of catechising, then the conscience of 
my duty will inforce me to proceed against you according to 
the canons of the church. 

" As for the church-wardens, I have a double complaint 
against them. One, That whereas by their place, they are 
to look unto the fabrick of the church ; the greatest part of 
your temples are kept no better than hog-styes. I know that 
it is one of the mysteries of their religion, that God is most 
purely served, when he is worshipped slovenly in a poor and 
homely cottage, and that any cost is too much to be bestowed 
upon God's service. They are much like unto the officers of 
Julian the apostate, who when they saw the stately vessels of 
the temple, cried out, ' En qualities vasts ministratur Maria 
Jilio F What stately plate is this for the carpenter's sonne ? 

" But my second complaint is yet greater. They are bound 
by their oath to present all known disorders within their pa- 
rish, especially them who do not repair unto the church to 
hear divine service, and to receive the sacrament according to 
the orders of this church ; yet they present none at all. And 
indeed, the church-wardens, especially in the Ards and 
Claneboyes, are of all others the most disorderly men, the 
very ring-leaders of the separation ; and it is for that cause 
they are chosen, that others may not be presented. So that 
it seems unto me, that too many of them in Scotland have 
entered in a mutual bond to defend one another by arms ; so 
their fellows in this diocesse, have entered in a mutual bond 
to defend one another by their oathes. But, here I tell them 
plainly, that I will proceed against them ; first, for the ne- 
glect of the repair of their churches ; next, for their own non- 
conformity ; thirdly, for not presenting notorious offenders ; 

ed by my friend Dr. M'Crie, (preface to Life of Melville,) that his eminent 
historical acquirements have not been employed in illustrating some portion 
of the literary or ecclesiastical history of Scotland. 

A.D. 1*38. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 241 

and lastly, for their perjury. And if they think my authority 
too weak to overtake them, in regard of the great patronage 
and countenance they have, I will deliver them over unto a 
court that is able to deal with them. 

" My last complaint will hold me longer. It strikes both 
against the clergy and the laity, for their general non-confor- 
mity, and disobedience unto the orders of this church. You 
of the clergy have all sworn, subscribed and promised absolute 
conformity. And yet, when you come amongst your people, 
you slide back, and for a colour of obedience, read some part 
of the service, it may be the lessons and a few collects, as if 
it were left unto your power to mince the service of God, cut- 
ting and carving upon it as you please. I must tell you that 
those who will not be tyed, neither by oaths, subscriptions 
nor promises, there is nothing will tye them but a coercive 

" But, they of the laity are yet worse, they will hear no 
prayer at all. While divine service is reading, they walke in 
the church-yard, and when prayer is ended, they come rush- 
ing into the church, as it were into a play-house, to hear a 
sermon. But, ere it be long, I hope a course shall be taken, 
that they who will hear no prayers, shall hear no sermon. 

" I know that the thing which doth encourage you in this 
your disobedience, is the present insurrection in Scotland. 
You think, and some of you do not stick for to speak it, that 
they will inforce the king for to yeeld unto all their demands, 
and amongst the rest, procure unto you a liberty to live here 
as you list. But deceive not yourselves. For howsoever, in 
Scotland, some think themselves strong enough to resist their 
prince, yet, (I thanke God,) you are not so many here, but 
the king's laws and authority is well able to overtake you. 
And be assured, that their insolent opposition against our 
most pious prince, will make you, that are of their faction, 
to be more narrowly looked unto here, than otherwise you 
would have been. For now, that our neighbour's house is on 
fire, it is high time to look to our own." 

vol. I. B 


The facts contained in these extracts from the correspond- 
ence and visitation charge of Leslie, are highly instructive. 
They prove the continued existence of a very general disobe- 
dience to the ceremonies of the church, throughout a most ex- 
tensive and populous diocese. They justify the inference, 
that if nonconformity was so prevalent under this most 
vigilant and active prelate, it must have been still mote 
prevalent under less intolerant bishops, in other parts of 
the province. They corroborate, in the amplest manner, 
the statements already made, respecting the numbers of the 
northern clergy who were in principle presbyterian, and 
who, though coerced into the promise of conformity to save 
themselves from persecution, adhered, in the seclusion of their 
parishes, to the presbyterian ritual. They testify the consci- 
entious aversion of the great mass of the population to the li- 
turgy and common-prayer of the episcopal church, the use of 
which they refused to countenance by their presence, while 
they punctually attended during the preaching of the sermon, 
which was usually preceded and concluded with extempore 
prayer. And above all, they furnish another unquestionable 
proof, of the total inefficacy of compulsory measures to ensure 
a cordial or absolute conformity in religious matters. 

Wentworth, in pursuance of his precautionary plans for 
preventing the Scots in Ulster from joining in the covenant, 
or opposing, in any way, the designs of the king, had recourse 
to an expedient more illegal in its character, and more op- 
pressive in its effects, than any which he had yet adopted. 
This was the imposition, on all the northern Scots, of an 
oath, styled, from the dismal calamities which it occasioned, 
the black oath, in which they were compelled to swear, 
never to oppose any of the king's commands, and to abjure 
all covenants and oaths, contrary to the tenor of this uncon- 
ditional engagement. 

The first idea of this measure originated with Charles. In 
the month of January 1639, he suggested it to Wentworth 
as likely to furnish an additional security to his cause 

A.D. 1639. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 243 

in Ulster, against the apprehended machinations of the Scot- 
tish covenanters. (85) The deputy approved of the plan, and 
thus wrote to Charles for instructions. " In case any Scot- 
tish refuse to take the oath of abjuration, what is your plea- 
sure we should do with them ? Shall we lege talionis here, 
as there, imprison the parties delinquent, and seize their lands 
and holdings to your majesty for the use of the public ? <** 
Shortly after, he summoned several of the Scottish noblemen, 
clergy, and gentry, on whose cordial co-operation he could 
rely, to meet him in Dublin on business, as he alleged, of 
especial importance to his majesty's service. When assem- 
bled in the latter end of April, in the apartments of the lord 
viscount Ards, Wentworth opened to them his design. He 
apprized them of the disorders which had occurred in Scot- 
land; of the surmises entertained of the Scots in Ulster 
favouring these seditious proceedings ; and of the propriety of 
their vindicating themselves from such injurious suspicions. 
He concluded by reminding them how much more acceptable 
and becoming it would be for them, to enter into a voluntary 
declaration of their fidelity and obedience to the king, than 
delay the tender of their loyalty, till extorted from them by 
the increasing dangers of the state. This suggestion of the 
deputy was hailed with acclamations by the bishops who were 
present. It was not opposed by the noblemen and other 
gentlemen, who appear to have been very passive instru- 
ments in the hands of Wentworth and the prelates. 

The bishop of Raphoe immediately framed a petition to the 
deputy and council, in the name of the Ulster Scots, praying 
to be permitted, by oath or otherwise, to vindicate themselves 

25 Rusbworth, viii. 504. It is more than probable, however, that the 
acbeme was entirely Wentworth's ; and that the letter from Charles, which 
he produced on his trial, directing him to frame and administer the oath in 
question, was afterwards procured for his justification, when called to 
answer this charge. 

* Straff. Lett. ii. 324. 


from approving the proceedings of their countrymen in Scot- 
land. This petition was in due form presented to the coun- 
cil. It was signed by Hamilton, Lord Claneboy, and Mont- 
gomery, lord of Ards ; by the bishops of Clogher, Raphoe, 
and Down ; by the archdeacons of Armagh and of Down ; by 
ten knights, and by twenty-four individuals, the majority of 
whom were clergymen. The form of the intended oath was 
submitted by the council to the consideration of the peti- 
tioners. (27) Objections were made, by some of the laymen 
present, to the unconditional manner in which they were re- 
quired to swear never to oppose, nor even to * protest against 
any of his royal commands.' They entreated that the qua- 
lifying phrase of « just commands/ or ' commands according to 
law/ might be inserted. But Wentworth would admit of no 
alteration, and they silently, though reluctantly, acquiesced. 
As a rebuke to their scrupulosity, the bishop of Raphoe la- 
mented that that part of the oath, which appeared so obnoxi- 
ous, had not been rendered more strong and explicit ; and in 
a spirit of affected disappointment at the moderation with 
which the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance 
was expressed therein, he exclaimed, ' that the oath was so 
mean, he would not come from his house to take it.' <88> Yet 

*7 The following is a copy of this celebrated oath, as set forth in the 
proclamation : — " I, — — do faithfully swear, profess and promise, that I 
will honour and obey my sovereign lord King Charles, and will bear faith 
and true allegiance unto him, and defend and maintain his royal power and 
authority, and that I will not bear arms, or do any rebellious or hostile act 
against him, or protest against any his royal commands, but submit myself 
in all due obedience thereunto : and that I will not enter into any covenant, 
oath, or band of mutual defence and assistance against all sorts of persons 
whatsoever, or into any covenant, oath, or band of mutual defence and 
assistance against any persons whatsoever by force, without his majesty's 
sovereign and regal authority. And I do renounce and abjure all co- 
venants, oaths, and bands whatsoever, contrary to what I have herein 
sworn, professed and promised. So help me God, in Christ Jesus." 
Straff. Lett. ii. 345. 

28 Rushw. viii. 492. 

A.D. 1689. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 245 

it is scarcely possible to conceive a more objectionable oath, 
or ode more directly at variance with the ordinary principles 
of civil liberty, and the acknowledged rights of subjects. 

By a proclamation from the deputy and council, dated the 
twenty-first of May, and containing a copy of the petition, all 
the Scottish residents in Ulster above the age of sixteen years, 
were required to take this oath, " upon the holy evangelists, 
and that upon pain of his majesty's high displeasure, and the 
uttermost and most severe punishments which may be in- 
flicted, aocording to the laws of this realm, on contemners of 
sovereign authority." Commissions were issued to the nor- 
thern magistracy to administer the oath in their respective 
districts. And as there had been, about the same time, " a 
fpolish discourse to surprise the castle of Carrickfergus, there- 
fore to provoke the Scottish here to take arms, and to call in 
the covenanters to their support," (29) Wentworth resolved 
to secure this important fortress, and to support the inagis-, 

» Straff. Lett ii. 342. This was a mere sham plot, fomented by spies, 
the danger of which was purposely aggravated to justify the imposition of 
the oath, and the augmentation of the army in Ulster. Sir John Clot* 
worthy, who happened to be on the bench during the trial of Trueman for 
this plot, at the Carrickfergus summer assizes, 1639, gave the following 
testimony on Wentworth's trial : — " That Trueman was an Englishman, 
that dwelt not far from Knockfergus, and one that was sent about the 
country, but by whom Sir John could not tell ; but, there were vehement 
suspicions that he was employed to find out those that would engage in 
discourse concerning the Scotch business; he spake with one Captain 
Giles, who feigned himself a great friend of the Scotch nation ; and said, 
that he conceived they were greatly distressed, and wished that he could 
use means whereby they might be eased. Hence he discoursed with True- 
man, who was but a silly man, and got from him words whereby he dis- 
covered a good will to the Scotch nation, and some discourse about the 
castle of Knockfergus ; insomuch that he got Trueman's letter to recom- 
mend him into Scotland, whither he pretended a desire to go, to serve 
under that command : Upon this he [ Giles] produced the letter, and that 
was given in evidence against him, and so he [Trueman] was condemned 
and executed." Rush worth, viii. 511. Baiilie adds, — " For this confes- 
sion he is hanged, and quartered half quick, after the English fashion, as a 
traitor." Lett i. 17Q. 


trates in the execution of their commissions, by despatch- 
ing thither a large military force. On these subjects the de- 
puty thus expressed himself in his letters to the English 

" Considering the distemper of these times, and of their 
countrymen, it was judged fit by this state to gain a renun- 
ciation of the Scottish on this, of the frantick covenant of 
some of their countrymen on the other, side. To which in- 
tent the act of state enclosed was framed, and themselves pro- 
cured to be petitioners, it might be so, according as you will 
find therein contained ; whereunto very chearfully they con- 
formed, and all the principal of them took the oath before 
this council, and the rest in the country will, without all per- 
adventure, follow, as they have begun unto them : Commis- 
sioners are going down, and in the execution thereof, we 
take such a course without being discerned, as will, I trust, 
enable us to guess very near, what the number of the natives 
of that kingdom are here inhabiting amongst us." — €i Yet 
to prevent all accidents which might happen to hinder die 
good proceeding of so necessary a service, my patents are gone 
to all the troops and companies in Leinster and Ulster, to 
march forthwith to Knockfergus, to be there by the thirtieth 
of this month, [May,] thence to be disposed and garrisoned in 
such places of Ulster as may not only contain the Scots on 
this side in their duty and obedience, but also prevent the 
landing of any more of them upon us from the other side. 
These troops and companies I put under the command of the 
master of the ordnance, [Sir George Radcliffe,] making in all 
one thousand foot and five hundred horse, which shall also 
attentively look on, whilst the oath is given by the commis- 
sioners, and taken by the Scots ; and if there be an occasion, 
as indeed I am confident there will not, I am ready, on a 
day's warning, to march up to them myself with the other 
half of this army." « 

30 Straff. Lett. ii. 342 and 337. 

A.D. 1689. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 247 

The commissioners were directed to proceed in the most 
summary manner. The ministers and church-wardens were 
required to make a return of all the Scots resident in their re- 
spective parishes. The oath was publicly read by the com- 
missioners, and then taken by the people on their knees ; but 
from the persons called on to swear, the privilege, of a de- 
liberate perusal of it for themselves, was studiously withheld. 
It was imposed equally on women as on men. The only ex- 
ception made, was in favour of those Scots who professed to 
be Roman catholics ; these alone were not required to take 
the oath. The names of those who scrupled to swear, were 
immediately forwarded to Dublin ; whence the deputy des- 
patched his officers to execute his pleasure on the recusants. 

Contrary to the expectations of Wentworth, great numbers 
refused to take the oath in the unqualified form in which it 
was proposed. None of them had the least hesitation to 
swear in the terms of the former part, expressive of bearing 
true and faithful allegiance to his majesty. But they consci- 
entiously and firmly refused to take the latter part, by which 
they would have been bound to yield an unconditional obedi- 
ence to all his royal commands, whether civil or religious- 
just or unjust — constitutional or unconstitutional. On these 
individuals, the highest penalties of the law, short of death, 
were unsparingly inflicted, frequently under circumstances of 
extreme cruelty. Thus, pregnant women were forced to tra- 
vel considerable distances to the places appointed by the com- 
missioners. If they hesitated to attend, and still more, if 
they scrupled to swear, they were treated in a barbarous man- 
ner ; so that crowds of defenceless females fled to the woods, 
and concealed themselves in caves to escape their merciless 
persecutors. Respectable persons, untainted with crime, were 
bound together with chains, and immured in dungeons. Se- 
veral were dragged to Dublin, and fined in exorbitant sums ; 
while multitudes fled to Scotland, leaving their houses and 
properties to certain ruin ; and so many of the labouring po- 
pulation abandoned the country, that it was scarcely possible 


to cany forward the necessary work of the harvest. The fol- 
lowing letter, addressed to Wentworth by Hamilton, lord 
Claneboy, now converted from the generous patron to the 
keen persecutor of his presbyterian countrymen, will convey 
some idea of the manner in which this obnoxious oath was 
enforced, and of the opposition which it very generally en- 

" The Lord Viscount Claneboye to the Lord Deputy. 

'* My much observed Lord, 

" May it please your lordship to know, that the master 
of the ordnance, when he had his meeting at Bangor with 
the lord Montgomery, lord Chichester, and myself, for taking 
order according to your lordship's directions for such as refused 
to take the oath, he had then the view of the books which 
were given up to us by the preachers and church-wardens of 
the parishes in the Claneboyes and Ards, of such of the Scott 
as were to take the oath. And we are hopeful that he both 
saw by our progress upon the said books, and hath showed to 
your lordship the willingness of the people, and our diligence 
in the work, although by the greatness thereof and paucity of 
the commissioners, who are to be at least three at every swear- 
ing, sundry of the parishes were then remaining uncalled, of 
which the people, as we are able to come at them, are since 
come in, and have taken their oaths, except the gleanings 
everywhere of sick or absent persons, who are remitted and di- 
rected upon their recovery or return home, to come to Killi- 
leagh, where the oath is to be given to them of the territory 
of Dufferin, and of the adjoining parishes, which is to be the 
last sitting for this service, and is to make the perclose of our 
books, and what we may say upon the whole matter. For 
which purpose I am come to Killileagh, where, contrary to 
my expectation, I find the people much altered in my absence 
from what I left them, and to be made apprehend much un- 
lawfulness in the oath, and much danger of soul to take it 

A.D. 1639. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 249 

Insomuch, that upon notice of my coming hither, many are 
fled out of the country, and especially servants, that their 
masters are doubtful to find sufficient to reap their corn ; for 
whose apprehension, as they may be found, I have sent out 

" It is conceived, that some aspersions, lyingly cast upon 
the oath, and a suggestion that it is greatly disliked in Scot- 
land, (for which I can find no author to lay hold on, albeit 
this might have operated with them in part,) hath been the 
cause of this averseness. But, indeed, I do apprehend, that 
the chief, if not the only cause, is proceeded from Mr. John 
Bole, the preacher at Killileagh, (31) the old blind man that 
was once with your lordship ; who, instead of obviating such 
aspersions, and satisfying the people in their doubts, hath 
very presumptuously and perversely, both in his common con* 
ferences,and in his public sermons upon the Sabbath-day to the 
people in the church, taxed the oath to be without any ground, 
to be unnecessary, uncertain, doubtful, and in the branches of 
it,mnlawful, and contrary to all former oaths. 

" I have herein taken the examinations of sundry persons 
of respect, which, tested with their own s hands, I herewith 
send to your lordship, that by them, he may be presented to 
your lordship in his own words. I lay not my hand upon 
any clergyman, especially a preacher, without direction, other- 
wise I had sent him myself. 

" I altered also, upon this rub, for a short time, the day 
of calling the people to the oath, that there might be oppor- 
tunity to settle the minds of /he people to their true duty. 
Wherein I doubt not but your lordship shall find the faithful 
endeavours of him, who, leaving all to your lordship's wisdom, 
is ever your lordship's most humble, and most obliged servant, 

" J. Claneboye." 

« Killileagh, Aug. 23, 1639" 

31 The reader will find this minister settled in the parish of Killileagh, 
in the year 1622. See Appendix, No. 1. 


" The Lord Viscount Clanebote to the Lord Deputy. 

" My much honoured Lord, 

" Your lordship's noble favours to me at all times, and es- 
pecially by your last letters of the 27th of August, do bind 
me to a continual loving and honouring of your lordship, and 
expression of the same, as any your lordship's service shall re- 
quire; which I hereby profess. 

" If Mr. Bole, who is now carried up by a pursuivant, 
shall deny any of the things charged against him, which is 
too usual with him, boldly to speak, and more boldly to deny 
it, the witnesses who have, under their hands, tested the same, 
are of credit, and if required, shall repair thither, and upon 
their oaths, make it good in his hearing. 

" Since my last to your lordship, I made intimation to the 
people of the parishes hereabout, who especially were possessed 
with a prejudice of the oath, that if any were doubtful of any 
thing contained in it, they should freely repair to me, and 
that I would satisfy them to the full, before they should be 
put to take it. Very many came in, of whom some had 
been misled by foul reproaches cast upon it, others by miscon- 
structions of it, and some by their apprehended doubts of 
what might be required of them hereafter, if they should take 
it. But, in a short debating, they had all contentment, and 
were sorry of their shunning. Amongst the rest, Mr. Bole 
came to me, hearing that his speeches had been revealed to 
me, and made profession of his bounden duty to his majesty, 
and of his respect to the oath. But I told him I was sorry 
to hear of his much miscarriage against both, of which he de- 
sired to hear the particulars. I said he would hear of them 
soon enough in another place, and willed him to remember 
himself what he had said. And not long thereafter, upon 
that day which we had appointed for the people to come in 
for taking the oath, I sent to him, and required him to be 
there ; for that was the form, that the minister and church- 

A.D. 1699. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 25 1 

wardens, and chief men of the parish, were made leaders to 
the people in taking the oath. I did likewise direct the pro- 
vost of the town to be with him. But he desired that, (in 
respect it fell out, that the same day was the day of the week, 
upon which he ordinarily used to have weekly an exhortation 
to the people,) he might be heard in his sermon first, and to 
declare himself concerning the oath in hand, wherein he hoped 
to give satisfaction to us and the people, which we thought 
not amiss to afford him, to see how he would amend himself. 
" His text he took out of the sixth chapter of the prophet 
Daniel, the 6, 7> 8, 9, and 10th verses. (32) Your lordship 
will see how pertinent that text was to such a purpose ; and 
he indeed accordingly handled it so, as none I think could 
tell what he was seeking, or in what or how he gave any 
satisfaction to the people for the matter of the oath. Much 
he taxed the princes of Persia for abusing the king, and de- 
stroying his soul, by leading him upon a false decree to destroy 
Daniel ; and, by the way, some admonitions he gave us the 
commissioners, to take heed that we did nothing that might 
give us cause of grief hereafter. But for the oath nothing 
expressly, but that some had reported to him, that he had 
made the oath doubtful and unlawful, wherein he said they 

a The following is the text from which Mr. Bole preached ; 

* 6. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, 
and said thus unto him, king Darius, live for ever. 

" 7. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, 
the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a 
royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a peti- 
tion of any god or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be 
cast into the den of lions. 

" 8. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be 
not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which alter- 
eth not. 

" 9. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. 

" 10. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into 
his house ; and his windows being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, 
he kneeled upon his knees three times a-day, and prayed, and gave thanks 
before his God, as he did aforetime.** 



had done him wrong, and that therefore they should see him 
then take it in the pulpit of himself. And without more, 
he swore and protested generally, his loyalty and fidelity to 
his majesty, and concluded with an exhortation to me, to 
explain the oath to the people before they took it ; and so 
ended with the usual form. 

" Thereupon I called him and the people unto me, and 
told them, that according to Mr. Bole's desires I was ready, 
if they would show me their doubts, to explain the oath for 
the same, and to give them satisfaction. But, for that I 
believed that the doubts were made by Mr. Bole himself, I 
would first address me to him, who was best able to move 
them, and to discern of the answer I should give to them. 
In effect, there was nothing propounded but their miscon- 
structions, fears and surmises of what hereafter might be 
drawn upon them by the power of the oath ; and having heard 
him and the people, in all they could say, f gave them so full 
satisfaction, that they all confessed the oath was rightful to 
be taken. Whereupon I willed Mr. Bole, the provost of the 
town of Killileagh, and the church- wardens, and some of the 
aldermen to kneel down and I would give it them. Mr. 
Bole told me, that he had taken it already. I asked him, 
where ? he said he had taken it in my hearing in the pulpit. 
I told him that shuffling would not serve his turn, he should 
take it in the express words of the prescribed oath, following 
me as others did. And after two or three bouts in the hear- 
ing of the people, I required him either to kneel with the 
rest, and to take it in the ordinary form, or if he refused, he 
should instantly hear me in another sort ; and then indeed 
he did kneel and take it with the rest. 

" I pray your Lordship to excuse this prolix narration, 
which is drawn on to show your lordship, that he hath taken 
the oath, and by what degrees he was brought to it. And 
since, as I hear, he did persuade the people to it, who never- 
theless come nothing so chearfully in, as they did in other 
parts. But nothing shall be undone of my part to forward 

A.D. 1639. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 253 

and finish the business, and to pray for the increase of all 
happiness to your lordship, which is the affectionate desire of 
your lordship's most humble and most obliged servant, 

"J. Clanbboyb V <»> 
« KiUilcagh, Sept. 2, 1639." 

Throughout Ulster, the black oath was rigorously en- 
forced ; and this descriptive epithet was too amply justified 
in the persecutions which it occasioned, not only to the con- 
scientious presbyterians, but to every one attached to the 
principles, or zealous for the maintenance, of civil and religi- 
ous freedom. The following detail of the grievances endured 
by those Christian patriots who refused to take it, though 
never before published, must not be withheld. 

" This oath, a generality did take, who were not bound 
with a conscience ; others hid themselves or fled, leaving their 
houses and goods ; and divers were imprisoned and kept in 
divers gaols for a considerable time. This proved the hottest 
piece of persecution this poor infant church did meet with, 
and the strongest wind to separate between the wheat and 
the chaff. However, God strengthened many to hazard all 
before they would swallow it. 

" In the county of Down, not only divers lost their habi- 
tations, and most of their goods, and followed to Scotland ; 
but others were apprehended and long imprisoned, amongst 
whom, as an encouragement of the rest, was one Margaret 
Stewart, a woman eminent for piety and zeal for God, not 
without Christian discretion. They were kept long in the 
prison, till thereafter Wentworth was executed in England. 

33 Straff. Lett. ii. 382-3, and 384-5. One cannot read this letter with- 
out feeling deeply for the hardships to which this aged and venerable mi- 
nister was exposed. How cruel to dragoon the old and blind man into the 
•wearing of this obnoxious oath ! And yet how adroitly he endeavoured 
to evade it himself, and indirectly to warn his people against its ensnaring 
obligations ! What became of him, when dragged up to Dublin, I have no 
means of ascertaining. 


In the county of Antrim likewise, many were necessitated to 
flee, wherein they sustained great loss in the goods they left 
behind them ; and yet were provided for and lived sparingly 
in Scotland under the gospel ; and those men who were fit 
for war were made use of in the levies of Scotland about that 
time. One Fulk Ellis, an English gentleman, had the most 
considerable company of soldiers under his command, which 
was in the whole army, consisting of above one hundred men, 
who were both resolute and religious, all banished out of 
Ireland. (34) 

" The like sufferings befell those of the Scottish nation 

who were godly in the counties of Tyrone and Londonderry ; 

3* Captain Fulk Ellis was eldest son of Edmond Ellis of Carrickfergus, 
an English colonist. He and his company joined the Scottish forces in 
resisting the arms of Charles in 1640, and were at the battle of Newburn. 
He shared in the supplies forwarded to the different companies of the army 
from their respective parishes in Scotland, as appears from the following 
interesting anecdote recorded by Livingston : " In November 1640, I re- 
turned back, [from the army] to Stranraer. All the rest of the parishes 
of the country had, before that, contributed money to send to buy clothes 
for the soldiers whom they had sent out. This was not yet done in Stran- 
raer, by reason of my absence. Therefore at our meeting on Saturday I 
propounded unto them the condition of the army, and desired that they 
would prepare their contributions to be given to-morrow after sermon : 
At which time we got L. 45, sterling, whereof we sent L.15, sterling to 
our own soldiers, and L.15, to Captain Ellis's company, who were all 
Irishmen, and so had no parish in Scotland to provide for them, and L.15 
to the commissary-general, to be distributed by public order. The reason 
that we got so much was, that there were sundry families of Irish people 
dwelling in that town. One Margaret James, the wife of William Scott, 
a maltman, who had fled out of Ireland, and were but in a mean condition, 
gave seven twenty-two shilling sterling pieces, and one eleven pound piece. 
When the day after, I inquired at her, how she came to give so much ? 
She answered, ' I was gathering, and had laid up this to be a part of a 
portion to a young daughter I had ; and as the Lord hath lately been pleas- 
ed to take my daughter to himself, I thought I would give him her portion 
also.'" — Captain Ellis returned to Ireland after the rebellion; he was 
captain and major in Sir John Clotwortby's regiment of foot, and is be- 
lieved to have fallen in action near Desertmartin in the county of Deny, 
in September 1643. His descendants, of the same name, still reside at 


fewer of them going at first to Scotland, they were subject to 
the more suffering. Upon refusing the oath, they had their 
names returned to Dublin, from whence pursuivants were 
tent to apprehend those who were refractory. Divers were 
apprehended and taken prisoners to Dublin ; amongst whom 
was worthy Mrs. Pont, who remained prisoner nigh three 
years, and her husband escaping, was forced to flee the coun- 
try. Others, though sent for, yet by special and very re- 
markable providences, escaped the pursuivants who were most 
earnest to apprehend them. 

" John Semple, afterwards an honest zealous minister in 
the church of Scotland for many years ; and Mr. Campbell 
of Duket-hall, <35) and the laird of Leckie were so nigh to be 
taken by the pursuivants divers times, that it appeared to be 
more than ordinary providence that they escaped. Particu- 
larly one time John Semple met a pursuivant by the way, 
who was sent to take him, and of John Semple inquired 
the way. Yet the man, having formerly a description of 
him, did not know him. Another time, the laird of Leckie, 
with major Stewart and John Semple, came to Newton- 
Stewart together about their affairs. While the former were 
taking a drink, it was presently told them that three pursui- 
vants were at the door ; upon which major Stewart mounted 
John Semple on his horse, and gave him his hat ; who being 
mounted, and riding by the pursuivants, inquired, « whom 
they were seeking ?' They said, « if you will tell us where 
they are whom we are seeking, we will give you a reward/ 
He answered, ' it may be I will/ Then said they, ' we are 
seeking the laird of Leckie and John Semple/ Then put- 
ting spurs to his horse, he answered, ' I am John Semple, 
you rogues !' While they were calling others to help them 
to follow him, the laird took his horse and escaped, and ma- 
jor Stewart also. The pursuivants being disappointed, said, 
* all the devils in hell will not catch these rogues/ 

" Mr. John McClelland being excommunicated by the 

35 See note (*> chap. ii. 


court in Down, retired up the country to Strabane, and being 
lodged one night in a house where the woman was a non-con- 
formist, and it being noticed thereafter, her husband, called 
William Kennah, was fined in five pounds for lodging an 
excommunicated person one night. There being a young 
man, a merchant in Strabane, a non-conformist, the bishop 
of Derry, Bramhall, coming to that place, inquired of the 
provost, * what a man he was ?' The provost answered, * he 
was a young man, a merchant of the town.'' The bishop an- 
swered, ' a young man ! he is a young devil. 11 Thus that 
spirit raged amongst them [the prelatists] before the rebel- 
lion, persecuting and imprisoning all who would not conform 
and take the black oath ; amongst whom were divers women 
eminent in suffering with patience and constancy, which be- 
come the godly " (35) 

One case of peculiar hardship, arising out of the imposition 
of this oath, demands especial notice, from the importance af- 
terwards attached to it on the trial of Wentworth. Among 
those who refused to swear in the unconditional terms in 
which the oath was designedly framed, were Henry Stewart, 
a gentleman of considerable property, his wife and family 
consisting of two daughters, and a domestic named James 
Gray. These persons were, on their refusal, carried up to 
Dublin by a sergeant at arms, and placed in close and rigor- 
ous confinement. They were separately interrogated on oath 
by the attorney general, and their examinations taken as evi- 
dence against them. On the tenth of September they were 
brought to trial in the star-chamber, a court in which the 
substance, as well as the forms, of law and justice were equally 
despised. The majority of the lords, including several pre- 
lates, pronounced all the individuals guilty of treason for re- 
fusing to take the oath. Among these judges was Bramhall, 
never absent when a presbyterian is to be persecuted, and when 
present, always concurring in the harshest measures, and sanc- 
tioning the severest punishments. The unhappy prisoners 

* Adair's MS. 

A.B. 1689. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 257 

were, at the same time, mocked with the assurance, that the 
utmost leniency had been displayed in favouring them with 
a trial, before the star-chamber which could not inflict a ca- 
pital punishment, and not before the ordinary courts of law, 
which must, of necessity, as it was alleged, have sentenced 
them to death, for their traitorous disobedience to royal autho- 
rity. Primate Ussher, who also sat on the bench on this oc- 
casion, and whom every protestant must lament to find em- 
ployed in such an office, was somewhat more moderate than 
his prelatical brethren. While he admitted that a refusal 
of the former part of die oath was treason, be protested 
against the doctrine, laid down by the other judges, that a re- 
fusal of the latter part, involving obedience to ecclesiastical 
injunctions, amounted to treason. But the resolute deputy 
boldly told the venerable primate he was mistaken ; and, as 
might be anticipated, he expressed his cordial concurrence 
with Bramhall and the other lords in finding the prisoners 
guilty of treason. Mr. Stewart, being permitted to speak in 
bis defence, declared before the court, that he had no objec- 
tion whatever to take the former part of the oath, promising 
civil allegiance to his majesty ; but as he conceived the latter 
part bound those who took it, to yield ecclesiastical obedience 
to every thing which the king might choose, at any time, to 
enjoin, he durst not, in conscience, enter into so extensive 
and unconditional an engagement. Wentworth, in reply, 
assured him he was quite right in his interpretation of the 
oath ; that it was intended to bind the Scots to conform to 
every doctrine and rite, which were either then authorized, or 
which might, at any time, be afterwards enjoined by royal 
authority ; and that he would prosecute all who refused to 
take it ' to the blood,' and drive them ' root and branch' 
out of the kingdom. He concluded by pronouncing the sen- 
tence of the court ; Mr. Stewart was fined in five thousand 
pounds, and his wife in a similar sum ; his daughters, two 
thousand pounds each ; and Gray, though only a servant, 
two thousand pounds,— a sum of sixteen thousand pounds off 

TOL. I. 8 


one family I To complete the hardship of the case, they were 
imprisoned in Dublin, at their own charges, until all these 
exorbitant fines should be paid. (S7) 

Thus did the despotic deputy tyrannize over the presbyte- 
rian non-conformists in Ulster, by the imposition of an oath, 
unconstitutional in its origin, because unauthorized by par- 
liament, illegal in its nature, and ensnaring in its construc- 
tion ; and enforced on one class of subjects, of all ages, ranks 
and sexes, with unrelenting rigour and unfeeling cruelty. 

* Rudiworth, YiiL 496, et wq. Btillie, L 281-2. 

A.D. 1669. CHURCH IN IRELAND. €59 


Wentworth in the roritt o/ Au jxwwr— Giwj of Archibald Adair, bishop of 
KMa—Ht is deposed— Conduct of Bedell thereon— 'Wentworth created 
earl of Strafford-— Collects a Roman Catholic army— and joins the king in 
England— Proposes to transport the Scots out of Ulster— His plans frus- 
trated — Loses the confidence of the Irish parliament — Their Remonstrance— 
Commissioners sent to England — State of affairs then— General discontent— 
The Long Parliament meet— Strafford impeached and imprisoned— Ulster 
Presbyterians petition the English parliament— Copy of their petition— and 
hst of grievances — Trial and execution of Strafford — Redress of Irish 
grievances— Archibald Adair released and made bishop of Waterford— 
Applications of Henry Stewart and Robert Adair to the Scottish Parlia- 
ment — English Parliament restore the county of Deny to the corporation of 
London — Irish Parliament abolish the High Commission Court— and re- 
scind its sentences against the Ulster Presbyterians— Petitioned by Mrs. 
Pont— Commence the reformation of Trinity College— Irish army die- 

Wsntwobth was now in the zenith of his power. His ad- 
ministration had been conducted with a vigour and success, 
hitherto unprecedented. No one dared to oppose his most 
oppressive measures. The highest nobility in the kingdom 
quailed before him. The least opposition to his plans, and 
above all, the slightest manifestation of sympathy for the 
Scottish covenanters, marked out the offender, however ele- 
vated in rank or station, for certain ruin. This was strikingly 
exemplified in the case of the bishop of Killala, who, by a 
few casual expressions in favour of his countrymen the Scots, 
drew down upon himself, at this inauspicious crisis, the for- 
midable indignation of the deputy. 

£60 history of the Presbyterian chap. vi. 

Among the ministers whom the late ecclesiastical changes 
in Scotland rendered uncomfortable at home, was Mr. John 
Corbet, minister of Bonhill, near Dumbarton. He had been 
an adherent and advocate of the prelatical party, and had 
joined with the bishops in their protest against the legality 
of the General Assembly at Glasgow. He afterwards withdrew 
his name from that protest, and subscribed the national co- 
venant. But his attachment to the reformed church of Scot- 
land being suspected by some of his vigilant and zealous 
brethren in the presbytery of Dumbarton, he was required to 
subscribe the assembly's declaration against the bishops and 
prelacy. Refusing to comply, he fled to Ireland and made 
his case known to Bramhall, from whom he was certain of 
receiving protection and support. The bishop recommended 
him to WentWorth ; and he accordingly removed to Dublin 
in the early part of the year 1639, where he employed his 
pen in vilifying the Scots and reprobating their proceedings, 
as in the highest degree seditious and treasonable. He pub- 
lished, writes Baillie from Glasgow, " a refutation of Mr. 
Henderson's Instructions, (1) with so little matter, and so 
much spiteful venom, as no man would have ever conceived 
to have been lurking in his heart, against all our proceedings. 
We had thought him unworthy of a reply, and are content 
of our advantage, that my lord deputy permits to go out, 
under his patronage, that desperate doctrine of absolute sub- 
mission to princes ; that notwithstanding of all our laws, yet 
our whole estate may no more oppose the princess deed, if he 
should play all the pranks of Nero, than the poorest slave at 
Constantinople may resist the tyranny of the great Turk." w 

1 This paper was published by authority of the Scottish estates, but 
drawn up by the Rev. A. Henderson. It was entitled, " Instructions for 
defensive arms,** and is printed in Stevenson's History, ii. 686 — 95. 

* Baillie, i. 152 — 3. Corbet's tract in answer to Henderson was en- 
titled, " The ungirding of the Scottish armour, or an answer to the Infor- 
mations for defensive armes against the king's majestic which were drawn 
up at Edenburgh by the common help and industrie of the three Tables of 
the rigid Corenanters of the Nobility, Barons, Ministry, and Burgesses, and 

A.D. 1689. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 26l 

The inculcation of such doctrines as these secured to him 
the cordial and powerful patronage of Wentworth, who re- 
solved to provide, for so seasonable an advocate, in the Irish 
church. A valuable living in the gift of Archibald Adair, 
bishop of Killala, (S) becoming soon after vacant, the deputy 
recommended him to the bishop, and calculated on the weight 
of his recommendation, supported also by that of Bramhall, 
as amply sufficient to ensure him the benefice. The bishop, 
a native of Scotland, had been apprized of Corbet's virulent 
abuse of the Scottish covenanters ; and though he himself 
condemned their rejection of prelacy, yet out of a pardonable 
regard for his countrymen, he disliked to see them so malevo- 
lently traduced, as they had recently been, by this candidate 
for his patronage. He accordingly received Corbet very coldly. 
He hesitated not to reproach him for the rancour which he 
had displayed towards the Scots, and for the discredit which 
he had been labouring to cast on his native kingdom. Pun- 
ning on his name, Corbet or ' Corbcy,' which, in the provin- 
cial dialect of Scotland, signifies a ' raven/ he observed, ' it 
was an ill bird that defiled its own nest ;' and added, that 
« he was a corbey that had fled out of the ark, and that he 
should not have where to set his foot in his diocese.' (4) The 
termination and results of this singular interview are thus 
narrated by one, not likely to be prejudiced in favour of the 
bishop. " And whereas Corbet had said in his book, that he 
had hardly escaped with his own life, but had left his wife 

ordered to be read oat of Pulpit by each Minister, and pressed upon the 
people, to draw them to take up annes to resist the Lords anointed through- 
out the whole kingdome of Scotland." Dublin, 1639, 4to. Pp. 56. It 
is dedicated to the lord deputy Wentworth ; and was licensed on the 6th of 
May 1639, by Ed. Parry, chaplain to the Archbishop of Dublin. 

3 He had been dean of Raphoe, and was elevated to the see of Killala 
In May 1630. The reader will find him in the former office in the year 
1622. See appendix, No. I. 

4 The latter of these sayings is taken from Vesey's Life of Bramhall, 
prefixed to his works. Bramhall also reported Adair's conduct at this in- 
terview to Wentworth in the most unfavourable light, and urged the neces- 
sity of punishing severely his brother prelate. 


behind him to try the humanity of the Scots ; he told him, 
he had left his wife to a very base office. Several other things 
the bishop said, which in themselves amounted to nothing, 
but only expressed an inclination to lessen the fault of the 
Scots, and to aggravate some provocations that had been 
given them. Corbet came up [to Dublin] full of wrath, and 
brought with him many informations against the bishop, 
which, at any other time, would not have been much con- 
sidered. But it being then thought necessary to make ex- 
amples of all that seemed favourable to the covenanters, it 
was resolved to turn him out of his bishopricl." {5) 

Corbet was soon after provided for elsewhere. In the 
mean time, he published in Dublin, but without affixing his 
name, another small treatise against the Scots, more severe 
and malicious than his former tract. (0) It was written in the 

* Burnet's Bedell, pp. 109—10. Let the leader contrast with bisbof 
Burnet's account of this transaction, the following version of it by Tiri— s\ 
who, let it be observed, possessed no additional information on the subject 
M Archibald Adair, a native of Scotland, had been tempted to conformity 
by the prospect of gain, and advanced to the bishopries: of Killala, a station 
little suited to his puritanic principles. The wretch was not so guarded 
or confirmed in his hypocrisy, as to suppress his indignation at a clergyman 
of his own country, who had written with severity against the covenanters; 
he reproached him for his conduct, and was even provoked to justify their 
conduct, with a warmth and acrimony utterly indecent" Hist iii. 52. 
The ' utter indecency' of the ' warmth and acrimony* of the historian in 
this passage against the calumniated bishop, is surely much more obvious 
and culpable than that of Adair's reproaches of Corbet 

• It is entitled, " The Epistle congratulatorie of Lysimacbus Nicanor 
of the Societie of Jesu, to the Covenanters in Scotland. Wherein is paral- 
lelled our sweet harmony and correspondency in divers materiall points of 
Doctrine and Practice. " Anno Domini, jcdcxl. 4to. pp. 84. No place 
of printing is given, but it was evidently Dublin ; at the conclusion it is 
dated, ' From my study at Basileopolis, the first of January, 1640.' The 
Scottish divines were greatly at a loss to whom to ascribe it Principal 
Baillie, at the end of his ( Canterburian Self-conviction,' adds, " A postscript 
for the personate Jesuite, Lysimacbus Nicanor," extending to 87 pages 4to. 
in which he is uncertain whether to assign it to Bramhall, or Leslie, or 
Maxwell bishop of Ross, or Mitchell, mentioned m note ( 18 > chap. v. 
In another tract he afterwards thus writes ; " In that most scurrilous and 

AA 1699. CHURCH m IRELAND, 989 

character of a Jesuit, addressing the Scottish covenanters, 
and expressing satisfaction at observing in their late proceed- 
ings, ' their begun letume from their former errors and here- 
sies.' A parallel is drawn between the Jesuits and the cove- 
nanters ; and no less than sixteen points of resemblanoe and 
approximation are illustrated with singular ingenuity and 
learning, and corroborated by the most apt quotations from 
the writings of popish canonists and protestant reformers. 
The conduct of Charles and the cause of prelacy are defended 
with great plausibility, but little regard to truth ; while the 
tenets and practices of the presby terians are reviled and satir- 
ised in a strain of the most bitter sarcasm* This witty and 
anonymous pasquil proved much more provoking to the cove- 
nanters, than the elaborate attacks of their more serious and 
formidable antagonists. 4 

Wentworth, provoked by the refusal of Adair to promote 
Corbet, determined on punishing the obnoxious prelate as a 
favourer of the covenant. He took this resolution the more 
readily, as Charles had just been applying to him to promote 
Maxwell, formerly bishop of Ross in Scotland, but now de- 
posed by his own church, and forced to fly for refuge to Eng- 
land* The deputy, therefore, entered with the greater alacrity 
on a measure, which served at onoe to punish a disaffected, 
and reward a loyal and suffering, bishop ; and at the same 
time to gratify the express wishes of his royal master. The 
following communication to the king shows that, in the be- 
ginning of September, he had already determined on no less 
a punishment than the deposition of Adair. " The satisfoe- 

invenomed satyre Lythnoekua Niccmor, his [Maxwell's] pen was thought to 
be principall ; for this he got a warning from heaven so distinct and loud 
as any uses to be given on earth, to reelaime him from his former erroun : 
with his eyes did he see the miserable man John Corbet, who took upon 
him the shame of penning that rable of contumelious lies against his 
mother-church, hewed in pieces in the very armes of his poore wife; this 
prelate himself in the mesne time was striken down, and left with many 
wounds, as dead by the hand of the Irish, with whom he had been but too 
familiar.** Hist. Vind. of the Church of Scotland, p. % 


tion of the bishop of Ross shall be the only thing I shall at* 
tend in the next place, and have found even already the means 
to effect it, by depriving, and that deservedly, the bishop of 
Killala, and substituting the other in his place. This is one 
of the best bishopricks in the kingdom, worth at least one 
thousand pounds a-year. The way bow to effect it, and the 
cause wherefore, I now write to my lord's grace of Canterbury, 
which, if approved by your majesty, shall forthwith be ac- 
complished, as also quench the venom of that rebellious 
humour, at least among us in this kingdom, and preserve it 
still, I hope, the freest from the evil of it, of any part per- 
chance of your majesty's dominions." (7) 

Shortly after this communication, Wentworth had occasion 
to repair to England ; but he urged forward the measure he 
had propounded to Charles, with his characteristic promp- 
titude and vigour. In the latter end of September, only two 
days after he reached London, *> he thus wrote to his confix 
dant, Sir George Radcliffe : " The particular haste of th» 
dispatch is only to advertise you, that my lord's grace of 
Canterbury having already represented to the king the exa- 
mination of Corbet transmitted hither, touching the bishop 
of Killala ; his majesty thereupon was very sensible of that 
bishop's apparent ill-affections, as unworthily as unseasonably 
expressed, to the violation of those due regards a person of 
his eminency and place ought, more especially as the times 
now go, to have preserved and paid to the peace and settle- 
ment of his affairs. And therefore commands that thereupon 
he be forthwith proceeded against, and deservedly avoided 
out of his bishoprick, if it may be, which you will acquaint 
my cousin Wandesford withal, and take present course therein 
accordingly." <9) Wandesforde, who had charge of the go- 

7 Straffi Lett ii. 883. 

8 Wentworth reached London on the 21st (Rnshw. viii. 506,) and his 
letter to Radcliffe is dated on the 23d of September 1639. 

9 Life and original correspondence of Sir George Radcliffe, Knt pp. 
181, 2. Dr. Whittaker, an English divine, editor of this showy bat 


vernment during the deputy's absence, was probably remiss 
in discharging so irksome a duty ; Wentworth, accordingly, 
two months later, again urges Radcliffe to push forward this 
vindictive prosecution. " The bishop of Killala's papers are 
herewith restored; you must proceed with effect, either to 
degrade him, or at least deprive him of his bishopriek : the 
sooner you dispatch it the better. The bishop of Ross is des- 
tined to succeed him, who is ready to take it with thanks." m 
After these repeated applications, proceedings were at 
length commenced against the unfortunate bishop. A 
pursuivant was despatched to bring him up to Dublin. 
He was committed to prison ; and tried before the high- 
oommission court for being a favourer of the covenant. As 
might be expected from the constitution of this court and the 
■ervility of its presiding judges, he was without hesitation 
found guilty. None of these judges were so hostile to him 
as some of his brother prelates. Adderton, bishop of Water- 
ford, was especially severe upon him, for the language he 
had used in his interview with Corbet ; and Bramhall, the 
indefatigable persecutor of all who differed from him, in the 
exuberance of his zeal, declared in another place, that on ac- 
count of that language, ' he deserved to be thrown into the 
sea in a sack, neither to see nor enjoy the air V U1) He was, 
accordingly, deprived of his see, fined two thousand pounds, 
and ordered to be imprisoned during pleasure ; and directions 
were issued to the convocation, about to meet at the opening 
of a new parliament, to take the necessary steps for effecting 
his deposition. Archbishop Ussher endeavoured to procure 
a mitigation of this iniquitous sentence, but without success. 
The archbishop of Tuam was directed by the convocation to 
proceed forthwith to execute the sentence on his suffragan 

meagre volume, makes the following apposite remark on this transaction ; 
" Under Strafford's administration the bishops of Ireland were displaced 
with little more ceremony than excisemen. " 

w Ibid. p. 190. 

11 Lords' Journals, i. 112. 


bishop ; <"> and at length, on the eighteenth of May, 1640* 
Adair was formally deposed from the ministerial office, in the 
cathedral church of St. Patrick's, Dublin. < 13 > 

The conduct of bishop Bedell, on the trial of Adair, is too 
honourable to be passed over in silence. The reader has al- 
ready seen, and no doubt admired, the firmness and fidelity, 
of this venerable prelate in reforming ecclesiastical abuses, 
and his zeal and assiduity in promoting the spiritual interests 
of the people committed to his charge. He will now behold 
him worthy, perhaps, of higher admiration, in boldly with- 
standing the tide of popular clamour, opposing the despotic 
power of the state, and, at the hazard of incurring the indig- 
nation of an implacable ruler, generously befriending an in- 
jured and calumniated brother. His biographer thus narrates 
his conduct on this trying occasion. " Bishop Adair was 
accused before the high-commission court for those things 
that Corbet objected to him ; and every man being ready to 
push a man down that is fallen into disgrace, many designed 
to merit by aggravating his faults. But when it came tt 
bishop Bedell's turn to give his sentence in the court, ho that 
was afraid of nothing but sinning against God, did not stick; 
to venture against the stream. He first read over all that 
was objected to the bishop at the bar ; then he fetched his 
argument from the qualifications of a bishop set down by St 
Paul in his epistles to Timothy and Titus ; and assumed 
that he found nothing in those articles contrary to these qua* 
lifications, nothing that touched either his life or doctrine* 
He fortified this by showing in what manner they proceeded 
against bishops, both in the Greek and Latin churches, and 
so concluded in the bishop's favour. This put many out of 
countenance who had considered nothing in his sentence but 
the consequences that were drawn from the bishop's expres- 
sions, from which they gathered the ill dispositions of his 

" Radcliffe's Life and Corresp. p. 252. 
" Ware's Bishops. 

A.D. 164a CHURCH IN IRELAtfD. 407 

mind, io that they had gone high in their centum, 
examining the canons of the church in nidi cases. But 
though those that gave their votes after our bishop were mot* 
moderate than those that had gone before him had been ; yet 
the current run so strong that none durst plainly acquit him, 
as our bishop had done. So he was deprived, fined and im- 
prisoned, and his bishoprick was given to Maxwell ■ that 
had been bishop of Ross in Scotland, and was indeed a man 
of eminent parts and an excellent preacher ; but by his for- 
wardness and aspiring had been the unhappy instrument of 
that which brought on all the disorders in Scotland."*** 

14 Burnetii Bedell, pp. 110-11. John Maxwell, the successor of bishop 
Adair in the see of Killala, wet a native of Dumfriesshire, and minister 
at MortUck in Banffshire, whence he waa removed in 1020 to Edinburgh. 
He waa made bishop of Rots by Charles in 1633 ; and afterwards a privy 
counsellor, and an extraordinary Lord of Session. He was a most violent 
supporter of prelacy, an instigator of the persecutions against the Irish 
presbyterian ministers ; and was employed by Laud in the compilation of 
the Scottish canons and liturgy i he possessed a considerable share of learn- 
ing, and proved himself an acute antagonist of the presbyterian polity. He 
was the author of the treatise entitled, " Sacro-Sancta Regum Msjestas," 
which called forth Rutherford's celebrated reply, " Lex, Rex; or the Law 
and the Prince." After escaping the fury of the Irish rebels, mentioned in 
a preceding note, (6) he retired to Oxford, and died in 1646* Hie follow* 
ing incident, the immediate cause of Maxwell's departure from Scotland, it 
illustrative of the prevailing spirit of the times, which so soon after issued 
in the overthrow of prelacy. " On the 11th of March 1638, being Sun- 
day, he causes, as his custom waa, lay down a service-book upon the reader's 
desk, [in his church at Ross,] and upon some other gentlemen's desks who 
used the same, about the ringing of the first bell to the preaching. But 
before the last bell was rung, certain scholars came in pertly to the kirk, 
and took up the whole service-books, and carried them down to the Nets, 
with a coal of fire, there to have burnt them altogether. But there fell 
out such a sudden shower, that before they could win to the Nest, the coal 
was drowned out The scholars seeing this, tore them all in pieces, and 
threw them all into the sea. The bishop hearing of this, miakena [over- 
looks] all wisely, comes to church, and preaches wanting service-books. He 
had soon done with sermon, and therefore hastily goes to horse, — — and 
privately disguised, he rode south, and to the king goes he directly ; a very 
busy man thought to be, in bringing in this service-book, and therefore 



By these vigorous, but tyrannical measures, Wentworth 
succeeded in preserving Ulster in apparent tranquillity. But 
the embarrassments which were now crowding around the king, 
in consequence of his unpopular and insincere pacification 
with the Scots, and their determination to remain on the de- 
fensive, soon led to important changes in the administration 
of Irish affairs, and in the temper and disposition of the na- 

Charles had early resolved to seize the first pretext to re- 
new the war with the Scots, which had been hastily termi- 
nated by treaty in the month of June 1639. But his finances 
being exhausted, and the majority of the nation either indif- 
ferent or averse to the renewal of hostilities, he had recourse 
to Wentworth for counsel in this emergency. To secure his 
more cordial co-operation, Charles appointed him lord lieu- 
tenant, instead of lord deputy of Ireland, elevated him to the 
rank of an earl by the title of Strafford, and conferred upon 
him other flattering marks of approbation and confidence. In 
return for these honours, Wentworth, who must now be de- 
signated by his new and more memorable title of Strafford, 
entered with ardour into the royal plans. He contributed 
largely, out of his private fortune, to the loan raised by the 
chief officers of the court to provide for the urgent necessities 
of the state, and to enable the king to execute his designs 
without having recourse to parliaments. He summoned the 
Irish parliament to meet in the month of March 1640 ; and 
by his paramount influence, he obtained from them most 
liberal supplies, coupled with ardent declarations of loyalty to 
the king, and flattering encomiums on the excellence of his 
own administration ;— declarations, which soon after proved to 
be as insincere on the part of the parliament, as they were un- 
deserved on that of Strafford. The necessary grants being 
obtained, he issued immediate orders for raising a new army 

durst not, for fear of hit life, return to Scotland again." Spalding's 
Troubles, &c. p. 47. 

A.D. 1640. CHURCH IN IRELAND- £69 

to occupy the north-eastern parts of Ulster. Having com- 
pleted these important arrangements, and committed the 
government of the kingdom to Sir Christopher Wandesford, 
as his deputy, on the fourth of April he set out for London, 
never again to return to Ireland. 

The army, under the direction of the earl of Ormond, was 
speedily raised and equipped. It amounted to eight thou- 
sand foot and one thousand horse, of whom a very incon- 
siderable portion were protestants. It was, in effect, a Ro- 
man catholic army, arrayed to crush the rising cause of free- 
dom, and to support Charles in his arbitrary measures. (W) For 
these reasons it was most obnoxious to the protestant patriots 
in both kingdoms, whose first uncontrolled efforts were direct- 
ed to procure its disbanding. • These forces assembled at Car- 
rickfergus in the month of July, where, by incessant training, 
they were soon brought into a state of complete discipline. 
They were stationed at various points along the coast, operat- 
ing as a formidable check upon any movements in Ulster fa- 
vourable to the popular, or hostile to the royal, cause ; and 
prepared, at a few hours notice, to be transported into Scot- 
land, should Charles resolve to invade that kingdom. 

But notwithstanding these successful and unresisted efforts 
to preserve the northern province in peace and submission, 
and to secure it against the danger either of internal commo- 
tion or of invasion from Scotland, Strafford was by no means 
satisfied with its state. He experienced the just retribution 
of all despotic governors, whose feelings of insecurity increase 
in proportion as their tyrannical oppressions appear to have 
placed them beyond the apprehension of danger. Although 
he had rigorously repressed, and had punished with the ut- 
most severity, every symptom of disaffection to his govern- 
ment ; although he had compelled the Scots, of whom alone 
he was apprehensive, to swear never on any pretext to resist 
the sovereign authority of the king, yet, since his removal to 

u Brodie, iii 160-1. See addition to this note at the end of the chapter 


England, he was more alarmed than ever for the tranquillity 
of Ulster. He had tried every expedient, short of extirpa- 
tion—oaths, fines, forfeitures, imprisonments, with ecclesias- 
tical as well as civil penalties, to prevent the possibility of 
danger from that quarter. But the sturdy presbyterians, 
though as yet suffering in silence under grievous oppressions, 
refused to be tranquillized so long as these grievances, which 
pressed so heavily on conscience, liberty and right, remained 
unredressed. Strafford, fully aware of this state of things, a* 
his last resource, took the daring resolution of removing die 
Scottish residents out of Ulster, and of banishing them alto* 
gether from die kingdom. Bis plan, as developed to Had* 
cliffe, was, that the Irish parliament, at its re-assembling, 
should be dealt with to recommend to him the transportation* 
of the Scots, lest they might be induced to join with their 
covenanted countrymen in Scotland, or lest Argyle should in- 
vade Ireland, and placing himself at their head, organise a 
formidable insurrection in the north. On this recommenda- 
tion of parliament, which he confidently expected to obtain, 
Strafford proposed to issue a proclamation commanding their 
departure, under the usual penalties, within a prescribed pe- 
riod ; but exempting from its operation the more considerable 
proprietors, and declaring the banishment to be merely condi- 
tional, until peace be restored between the king and his Scot- 
tish subjects, or the circumstances of the kingdom be such as 
to warrant him to permit their return. Transports were to 
be provided at the public expense ; and every facility afford- 
ed for getting rid, as speedily and effectually as possible, of 
these intractable colonists. But though daring enough to 
propose this iniquitous measure, he was too sagacious not to 
perceive the objections which would be urged against its execu- 
tion. The more formidable of these he thus proposed to ob- 

" Happily it will be objected, that the Scots in Ulster, took 
the [Black] oath in implicit abjuration of the Covenant, that 
they are the king's subjects, not yet convinced of actual rebel- 

A*D» 1640. CHURCH IN IRELAND* 271 

lion, that it will be a hard case to banish the king 1 ! people 
upon supposition and conjecture, and that, by this course, the 
major part of all the north will be untenanted. 

" To this I answer, that many thousands in the north neves 
took the oath ; and as I am certainly made believe, they now 
publicly avouch it as an unlawful oath ; and for aught I see, 
they will shortly return, to any that dares question them, such 
an answer as Robert Bruce, earl of Carrick, made to sir John 
Comyn, who, charging him with breach of oath, taken at 
Westminster to king Edward, replies, with cleaving his head 
in two. None is so dim-sighted, but sees the general incli- 
nation of the Ulster Scots to the covenant : and God forbid 
they should tarry there till the earl of Argyle brings them 
armies [arms ?] to cut our throats, to our apparent disturb- 
ance, if not certain ruin. And what commonwealth will not 
give way, that a few landlords, and they are but a few, should 
receive some small prejudice, where die public safety, and 
certain peace of the whole is concerned ? 

" It will be objected that the Scots are many in number, 
every ordinary fellow still carrying his sword and pistol ; and 
therefore, unsafe to be too far provoked. I answer,— -^ris more 
unsafe to deal with an enemy by halves ; and that, I fear, will 
fall out to be our case, if resolutely this design be not put in 
execution; for, who sees not, if the now standing army be not 
able, without any manner of danger or difficulty, without any 
danger to give them the law, and send them forthwith pacque- 
ing—-I gay, who sees not that, upon Argyle's landing and 
arming of them, we shall be exposed to a most assured scorn, 
and certain ruin ? ,1(16) 

Had this nefarious project succeeded, it would not only have 
overturned the foundations on which the presbyterian church 
chiefly rested for support in Ireland, but it must have termi- 
nated in the ruin of protestantism, and the desolation of the 

M Radcliffe's Life and Corresp. pp. 209-10. The document from which 
these extracts are made, is dated October 8, 1640, and is endorsed br 
Kadcliie, « Propc4itkm~Seotts_i*jeettd by me sad c row d." 


northern province. Destitute of the powerful aid of the numer- 
ous and resolute presbyterian population, the few and scattered 
protestants who would have remained in the kingdom, could never 
have withstood the exterminating fury of the Roman catholics, 
during the rebellion which, in twelve months after, broke out in 
Ulster. Happily, however, the Irish parliament reassembled 
under such an alteration of views and circumstances, that Rad- 
cliffe, in the absence of Strafford, dared not venture to submit 
the proposal to their consideration. It accordingly fell abor- 
tive to the ground, and remains only as a record of the des- 
potic dispositions of that audacious and unprincipled governor. 

Whilst Strafford was maturing his plans at the British 
court, and completing his arrangements for maintaining the 
royal cause triumphant in Ireland, the national temper and 
dispositions had been silently but rapidly changing. Scarcely 
had he retired to England, and intrusted his government to„ 
the hands of a deputy, than a spirit of resolute opposition to 
the court began to manifest itself. Freed from the restraints 
of his presence, all parties began to complain of the burden 
of the subsidies imposed by parliament. Discontent spread 
quickly through the kingdom. The people no longer suffer-, 
ed in silence. The intolerable grievances of bis administra- 
tion were freely exposed and denounced ; and the popular de- 
mand for a relief from its oppressions, and a reform of its 
abuses, became loud and general. 

Both houses of parliament participated in the general feel- 
ing. At the opening of the second session, in the month of 
June, a signal alteration in their temper was immediately dis- 
cernible. During their recess, Charles had summoned the 
English parliament ; and in disgust at their preferring the 
consideration of national grievances to the voting of supplies, 
not unlikely to be employed in crushing the popular cause, 
be had wantonly and precipitately dissolved them. This in- 
judicious step increased the discontent already prevalent 
throughout that kingdom. Its effects were felt in Ireland. , 
The urgent dangers which were now gathering round the cause 

A.D. 1640. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 973 

of freedom, compelled its friends to be more than Usually vi- 
* gilant and active. The English patriots found it necessary 
' to open a communication with Ireland, where they met with 
■ many congenial spirits who, oppressed by the tyranny of Straf- 
ford and the severities of the prelates, appreciated the value 
of civil and religious liberty, and were prepared to stand for- 
ward in its defence. To these, the distinguishing epithet of 
' Puritans had been, at an early period, applied. In both 
kingdoms, they formed the only party, who* at this time, en- 
tertained correct views of constitutional liberty ; and though 
they have been grossly maligned, even their bitterest enemies 
have been forced to acknowledge, that whatever measure of 
freedom the empire now enjoys, is, in a great measure, to be 
•attributed to their generous and disinterested patriotism. (I7> 
In Ireland they were numerous, and were to be found among 
*the members of both houses of parliament ; and in Ulster, 
though many had abandoned the country and retired to Scot- 
land, they still constituted the predominant party. The over- 
bearing power of Sttafford had depressed them for a time. 
But emancipated from this restraint, and encouraged by their 
brethren in England, and their countrymen in Scotland, they 
now manifested a determination to seek a thorough redress of 
the grievances under which the country had been groaning. 

In this determination, they were at first joined by the Ro- 
man catholic party — a singular coalition, which did not exist 
in either of the sister kingdoms. But in Ireland, both pres- 
byterian and papist had equally felt the severities of Straf- 
ford's administration ; both were equally indignant at the 
usurpations of the bishops and the ecclesiastical courts ; and 
both could unite, to a certain length, in resisting and remov- 
ing these oppressions. But as the one party sought only a 
reformation of the church, while the other aimed at effecting 

] 7 The following is Hume's remarkable admission : — " The precious 
spark of liberty had been kindled and was preserved bj the Puritans alone ; 
and it was to this sect that the English owe the whole freedom of their 
constitution. M 

VOL. I. T 


its overthrow, and, with it, the demolition of protestantism, 
the period soon arrived when they could no longer co-operate. 
In the mean time, while united, they constituted a formidable 
party ; and, even in the second session, their influence proved 
predominant in both houses of parliament They reduced 
the subsidies which they had, a few months before, voted with 
a lavish generosity and with extraordinary declarations of 
loyalty, to a fourth part of the original grant ; and, at the 
same time, they presented a spirited address to Wandesfbrd, 
complaining of the abuses of the church-courts, and the exor- 
bitant exactions of the established clergy. 

On the reassembling of parliament, in the beginning of 
October, they ventured on still bolder measures. In opposi- 
tion to the court-party, the commons proceeded to draw up a 
Remonstrance, detailing, in fifteen articles, the grievances im- 
posed upon the kingdom during the government of Strafford. 
The following articles show that the case of the northern 
Scots was not overlooked. 

" 8. The extream and cruel usage by certain late commis- 
sioners and others, of the inhabitants of the city and county of 
Londonderry, by means whereof the worthy plantation of that 
county is almost destroyed, and the said inhabitants are re- 
duced to great poverty, and many of them forced to forsake 
the country ; the same being the first and most useful planta- 
tion in the large province of Ulster, to the great weakening 
of the kingdom in this time of danger, the said plantation 
being the principal strength of those parts. 

" 9. The late erection of the court of high-commission, for 
causes ecclesiastical in those necessitous times ; the proceed- 
ings of the said court in many causes without legal warrant, 
and yet so supported, that prohibitions have not been obtain- 
ed, though legally sought for ; and the excessive fees exacted 
by the ministers thereof: and the encroaching of the same 
upon the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts. ,,<18) 

18 Commons' Journals, i. 281. 

A.D. 1640. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 275 

Not content with adopting this celebrated remonstrance, 
the commons appointed a committee to repair with it to 
England, for the purpose of presenting it to the king in per- 
son, and claiming an immediate redress of the enumerated 
grievances. This committee consisted of three members from 
each province, all of whom belonged either to the Roman ca- 
tholic or the puritan party. Those from Ulster were, Sir 
James Montgomery, member for the county of Down, Sir 
William Cole, member for the county of Fermanagh, and 
Edward Rowley, Esq., member for the county of London- 
derry. (19) Though charged by the deputy on their allegiance 
not to leave Dublin, they set out privately on the twelfth of 
November. On their arrival in London, they found the 
oppressor of their country, once so formidable, stripped of his 
power, impeached by the commons of England, and imprison- 
ed upder the charge of high treason ! 

The circumstances which led to this unexpected vicissitude 
are well known. The pressing necessities of the king had at 
length compelled him reluctantly to summon another parlia- 
ment, which from its unusual duration, has been styled the 
Long parliament.* 30 * It assembled at one of the most critical 
periods in the history of the nation. The tyrannical conduct 
of Charles — his arbitrary encroachments on the rights of the 
people — his avowed contempt of parliaments, and his deter- 
mination to rule, if possible, independently of their control— 
the glaring abuses in the administration of justice — the cruel- 
ty and oppression of illegal courts — the decay of trade by mo- 
nopolies and impositions — and, above all, the corruption of 
religion — the insolence and violence of the clergy, and the 
gradual assimilation of the church, under the auspices of 
Laud, to the Romish superstition ; — these grievances, affect- 
ing every class, and involving matters of the deepest interest 
to every individual, had justly excited so general a discontent 

19 Commons' Journal, i. 286. 

90 This parliament sat, with little interruption, about twelve years and a 
half, until violently dissolved by Cromwell. 


throughout the kingdom, and roused so resolute a spirit of hos- 
tility to the court, as could no longer be subdued or r epressed. 
Under these circumstances, an unusual number of re- 
presentatives, pledged to prosecute the redress of grievances, 
and to support the cause of popular privileges and rights 
against the encroachments of the prerogative, were returned 
as members of this parliament — the most memorable in the 
annals of Britain. On the third of November 1640, it was 
opened by the king in person. The commons, inflexibly re- 
solved to prosecute, as their primary object, the thorough ex- 
amination and redress of the national grievances, immediately 
proceeded to appoint committees for that purpose. And on the 
third day of meeting, Mr. Pym, in a speech of great force 
and eloquence, moved for a committee of the whole house to 
take into consideration the affairs of Ireland. This motion 
was seconded by Sir John Clotworthy of Antrim, who had, a 
short time before, settled in England to escape the vindictive 
hostility of Strafford ; and had been returned to parliament 
for the borough of Maiden in Essex. <21) Sir John continued 
to be the same in England as he had been in Ireland — a firm 
patriot and a staunch presbyterian. While at Antrim, his 
patriotism, no less than his non-conformity, had rendered 
him peculiarly obnoxious to Strafford, whose fall he now acce- 
lerated by his zeal and courage, but especially by his accurate 
knowledge of Irish affairs. On the eleventh of November, 
the commons adopted the bold and hazardous resolution of 
impeaching Strafford of high treason. A committee, of whom 

91 Sir John had been a member of the Irish house of commons in 1634. 
In 1636, he appears to have first rendered himself obnoxious to Strafford, 
by refusing to support his plans for establishing a monopoly of linen yarn. 
Rush. viii. 418. He was in Dublin in August 1639; (Rawd. Papers, 62.) 
but he shortly after removed to England. His was one of the few double 
returns to the long parliament, a circumstance which shows the value at- 
tached by the popular party to his services. He was elected for the 
borough of Bossiney in Cornwall, as well as for Maiden ; but he preferred 
taking his seat for the latter. Hansard's Pari. Hist See also Note 2, 
chap. ii. 

A.D. 1640. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 277 

Sir John Clotworthy was one, was appointed to prepare the 
charges against him. The same day he was formally im- 
peached at the bar of the house of Lords, and immediately 
sequestered from his seat, and committed to the Tower : — a re- 
verse of fortune which, for its extent and rapidity, has been 
seldom paralleled. <**> 

The committee from the Irish parliament, arriving at this 
critical conjuncture, were received in London with every mark 
of respect. On the twentieth of November, their Remon- 
strance was presented to the house of commons, and produced 

w Principal Baillie, who was at this period in London, a commissioner 
for concluding the treaty between the Scots and Charles begun at Ripon, 
gives the following graphic sketch of the proceedings of this day, so event- 
ful in its consequences both to Strafford and to the empire at large. " All 
things go here as our hearts could wish. The Lieutenant of Ireland came 
hut on Monday to town late, on Tuesday rested, on Wednesday came to 
parliament ; but ere night he was caged. Intolerable pride and oppression 
cries to heaven for a vengeance. The lower house closed their doors, the 
Speaker kept the keys till his accusation was concluded. Thereafter Mr. 
Pym went up, with a number at his back, to the higher house ; and, in a 
pretty short speech, did, in name of the lower house, and in the name of 
the commons of all England, accuse Thomas earl of Strafford, Lord lieu- 
tenant of Ireland, of high treason ; and required his person to be arrested 
till probation might be heard : so Mr. Pym and his back were removed. 
The lords began to consult on that strange and unexpected motion. The 
word goes in haste to the Lord lieutenant, where he was with the king : 
with speed he comes to the house ; he calls rudely at the door ; James 
Maxwell, keeper of the black rod, opens : his lordship, with a proud 
gloomy countenance, makes towards his place at the board head : but at 
once many bid him void the house : so he is forced, in confusion, to go to 
the door till he was called. After consultation, being called in, be stands, 
but is commanded to kneel ; and on his knees to hear the sentence. Be- 
ing on his knees, he is delivered to the keeper of the black rod, to be pri- 
soner till he was cleared of these crimes the house of commons had charged 
him with. He offered to speak, but was commanded to be gone, without 
a word. In the outer room, James Maxwell required him, as prisoner, to 
deliver his sword. When he had got it, he cries, with a loud voice, for his 
man to carry my Lord lieutenant's sword. This done, he makes through a 
number of people towards his coach, all gazing, no man capping to him, 
before whom that morning the greatest of England would have stood dis? 
covered." Baillie, i. 217. 


an impression most unfavourable to Strafford. This applica- 
tion was the first ever made by the Irish to the English par* 
liament, (83 > and formed, at this period, an important precedent 
in favour of the people of Ireland. Their own parliament 
had been suddenly prorogued by Wandesford, with the view 
of checking the spirit of opposition to the court which had 
been growing daily more formidable. The only channel, 
therefore, through which they could make known their griev- 
ances, or seek for redress, lay in the parliament of England. 
The way having been once opened to this tribunal, their pe* 
titions were favourably received ; and many of the Irish no- 
bility and commoners having repaired to London to assist in 
bringing to justice their impeached governor, every facility 
was thereby enjoyed by the oppressed in Ireland for submit- 
ting their respective grievances to the notice of parliament. 

The suffering non-conformists in Ulster were not slow to em- 
brace this method of making known their grievances to their 
brethren in England. All the efforts of Strafford had not weak- 
ened their attachment to the presby terian faith and order. Not- 
withstanding the dangers to which they were exposed, those 
who continued to reside in Ulster held private meetings for re- 
ligious worship among themselves, most frequently in the night 
season. After their ministers had been forced to fly to Scotland, 
and the more timid who remained were afraid to attend these 
proscribed assemblies, the more eminent among the laity con- 
ducted the worship, and usually expounded scripture for their 
mutual comfort and edification. (24) By these means, the 

S3 Carte, i. 1 15. 

24 These practices of private meetings and lay preaching, abundantly 
justifiable in a time of persecution, were introduced into Scotland by 
several of the Ulster refugees; and being continued, sometimes to the 
prejudice of the parochial ministry, complaint was made against them to 
the genera] assembly in 1640 by Guthrie, minister of Stirling, who con- 
ceived himself injured by some expressions used at these private assem- 
blies, where the laird of Leckie, who bad fled from Ireland, usually pre- 
sided. The keen controversies excited by the efforts of a party, to put 
an end to these practices as irregular and inexpedient in a settled church, 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 279 

knowledge and lore of the truth were preserved among 
multitudes, who might otherwise have conformed to prelacy ; 
so that when a favourable opportunity was at length present- 
ed for making an effort to regain their religious freedom, it 
was eagerly embraced by a large majority of the protestant 
population of Ulster. Encouraged by the overthrow of Straf- 
ford and the countenance of the English commons, they 
drew up a Petition, which was most numerously signed, 
detailing their grievances, both civil and religious, and 
praying for the enjoyment of liberty of conscience. In parti*' 
cular, they apply for the restoration of their banished pastors, 
and the endowment of an adequate ministry, as essential to 
the welfare and security of the kingdom. This petition, the 
first which emanated from the Irish presbyterians, was pre- 
sented to the long parliament by their steady friend, Sir 
John Clotworthy, {25) who had himself experienced the evils 

may be seen in Baillie's Letters, i. 196— 202, 801, 2. The laird of 
Leckie, or as be was styled in Scotland, Leclrie of tbat ilk, was originally 
from Stirlingshire, and had suffered much in Ireland for his attachment to 
presbytery. He was settled somewhere in the neighbourhood of Deny, 
as we learn from the following observation of Vesey in his life of Bram- 
ball. Speaking of the bishop's assiduity, he says, " Nor was his labour 
wanting among the lay gentry, reducing some that had strayed, and con- 
firming some tbat staggered, their blood being apt to take infection from 
die neighbour kingdom, as the laird of Lacquey and others brought to his 
lordship by Dr. Walker, to whom he gave full satisfaction in their scru- 
ples. " Either the bishop or his biographer miscalculated the success of 
these efforts, for Leckie's scruples were far from being removed, as sub- 
sequent events soon evinced. Several highly respectable families of the 
same name with this staunch presbyterian, and probably descended front 
him, still exist in the vicinity of Deny. 

96 I cannot ascertain the date of this petition being presented to parlia- 
ment. It could not have been before the end of April, 1641, as appears 
from the following letter, written on the 26th of that month, by Bramhall 
to Ussber then in London, misrepresenting, in the spirit of party still dis- 
played on similar occasions, the method of obtaining the numerous signa- 
tures attached to it. "I send your grace the copy of a petition enclosed 
as was sent me. The solicitor who gets the hands is one Gray, censured 
in the star-chamber in one Steward's case. I hear he has got L.300 by 
it, and that the most of the subscribers did not know what they subscribed, 


therein deplored, and who had now become one of the most 
popular and influential members in that assembly. It breathes 
the same attachment to gospel truth and civil liberty, and 
the same spirit of firm and inflexible resistance to tyranny, 
by which, as a body of people, they have been uniformly dis- 
tinguished. It proves how numerous they continued to be, 
and how decided they were in their non-conformity, in despite 
of all the persecutions they had endured on that account ; and 
together with the list of grievances which, according to the 
custom of those days, was annexed, it presents so instructive 
and authentic a picture of the religious condition of Ulster, 
while under the uncontrolled influence of prelacy, that its in* 
sertion is indispensable to corroborate the statements already 
submitted to the reader. 

" The humble Petition of some Protestant Inhabitants of 
the Counties of Antrim, Downe, Deny, Tyrone, &c, part 
of the Province of Ulster, in the Kipgdom of Ireland, 

" Humbly represented) unto your grave wisdomes and ju- 
dicious considerations, that your petitioners, having translated 
themselves out of the several parts of his majesties kingdoms 
of England and Scotland, to promote the infant plantation 
of Ireland ; wherein your petitioners, by their great labour 
and industry, so much contributed to the settlement of that 
kingdom, as they were in a most hopeful way of a comforts- 

but in general that it was for the purity of religion, and the honour of their 
nation. They say he has gathered a rabble of 1500 hands, all obscure 
persons. It were no difficult task, if that were thought the way, to get 
half of those hands to a contrary petition, and 5000 more of a better 
rank.** Life of Vesey. Bramball attempted to get up such a petition 
as he here alludes to ; but from the following reply of Ussher to him it 
seems be was far from meeting with the success he anticipated. " Sir John 
Clotwortby hath presented a far larger petition to the house of commons 
here, for the abolishing of episcopicy in Ireland, than that which you sent 
unto me, and signed with a huge number of hands." Rawdon Papers, 
p. 82. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 281 

ble abode, and when they expected to reape the fruit of their 
great and long labour, partly by the cruel severity and arbi- 
trary proceedings of the civil magistrate ; but principally 
through the unblest way of the prelacy with their faction, our 
souls are starved, our estates undone, our families impover^ 
ished, and many lives among us cut off and destroyed. 

" The prelates have by their canons of late, their fines, 
fees, and imprisonments at their pleasure ; their silencing, 
suspending, banishing and excommunicating of our learned 
and conscionable ministers ; their obtruding upon us igno- 
rant, erroneous and profane persons to be our teachers ; their 
censuring of many hundreds, even to excommunication, for 
matters acknowledged by all to be indifferent and not neces- 
sary ; their favouring popery, in this kingdom a double fault ; 
their persecuting of purity, and endeavouring to bring all to 
a lifeless formality ; divers of them being notorious incendia- 
ries of the unquietness and unsettled estate between these 
kingdoms : with many the like too tedious to relate, as more 
fully in our ensuing grievances doth appear. These our cruel 
task-masters have made of us who were once a people, to be- 
come, as it were, no people, an astonishment to ourselves, the 
object of pity and amazement to others, and hopeless of re- 
medy, unless ' He with whom are bowels of compassion,' 
work in you an heart to interpose for your petitioners' relief. 
" They therefore most humbly pray that such a course 
may be laid down, as to your great wisdoms shall seem meet, 
for reparation, in some measure, of our unutterable damages ; 
your petitioners settled in a way whereby their persecuted 
ministers may have leave to return from exile, and be freed 
from the unjust censure imposed upon them, and an open 
door continued unto us, for provision of a powerful and able 
ministry, the only best way to promote plantation, and settle 
the kingdom in the possession and practice of true religion. 
Which, as it is the earnest expectation, so it shall be the 
dayly prayer of many thousands besides your petitioners, who 
will ever entreat the Lord for your direction herein, and in 


all other your weighty and important affairs ; as becometh 
your poor petitioners, &c. 

" A particular of manifold evils and heavy pressures, 
caused and occasioned by the prelacie and their dependants. 

" 1. Before they had so much as a pretended canon for 
their warrant, the prelates urged their ceremonies with such 
vehemency, that divers of our most learned and painfull mi- 
nisters, for not obeying them, were silenced, and many of us 
for the like oppressed in their courts. 

" 2. In the year 1634, they made such ' canons and con-' 
stitutions ecclesiastical ' as enjoined many corruptions in the 
worship of God, and government of the church, which ex- 
ceedingly retarded the work of reformation, animated papists, 
and made way for many popish superstitions. 

" 3. Our most painfull, godly and learned ministers, were 
by the bishops and their commissaries, silenced and deprived 
for not conforming and subscribing to the said unlawful 
canon ; yea, through the hotness of their persecution, forced 
to flee the land, and afterward excommunicated, to the danger 
of all, and loss of some of their lives. 

" 4. In their places others were obtruded, not only igno- 
rant, lazy and lukewarm, but many of them unsound in doc- 
trine, profane in life, and cruel in persecution. 

" 5. Many, though sufficiently furnished, were not admit- 
ted to the ministry, only for not swallowing down their 
groundless innovations : yea, some though conforme, yet for 
appearing strict in life, were likewise kept out. 

" 6. Good and painful ministers are not suffered to exer- 
cise the function which God hath raised them unto, nor suf- 
fered to enjoy any living ; whereas the bishops do hold by 
commendam, besides those proper to their bishoprics, many 
livings ; and do conferr livings upon their children and re- 
tainers, ' studendi gratia/ as is pretended, and divers bene- 
fices, as four, five, six, or more, upon their favourites. 

A. D. 1641. CHORCH IN IRELAND. 283 


7* Hence the care of souls is committed to hirelings, who 
receive five, six, eight, ten pounds by year for their cures, 
divers of which are put together, to the charge of some illiter- 
ate curate ; by which means the people perish for want of 
food, though the parson or vicar, through connivance of 
the bishop, is utterly non-resident, and by each one of the 
many benefices he enjoyeth, hath a competent allowance for 
a moderate minded man, to maintain himself and family 

" 8. Whereas the bishops should give all good example 
by painfull preaching and holy conversation, they preach very 
rarely themselves ; and like those in the gospel who will 
neither enter themselves, nor suffer others to enter, they have 
supprest divers others from preaching, both on the afternoon, 
en the Lord's day, and in many places where weekly lectures 
were maintained, either by the free-will of the minister, or 
cost of the people, they have utterly forbidden the same, and 
thrown all manner of discountenance to those who were for- 
ward therein ; so that a lecturing minister appeared before 
them, under more prejudice than a popish priest, or under- 
mining Jesuit. 

" 9. Lest those who could not be admitted into the minis- 
try, undertaking to teach school, should there lay impres- 
sions of piety and good learning ; they urge on the very 
school-masters a subscription beyond what is enjoyned by 
their own canon, and punish by excommunication and other- 
wise the refusers thereof: so as the schools formerly much 
frequented, are now utterly desolate to the spoyle of youth, 
and promoting of prophaneness and ignorance. 

" 10. Thus whiles they proceed so severely and unjustly 
in punishing the refusers of their unlawful commands, though 
otherwise never so honest and able men, they favour popery 
to the continuance and great increase thereof. Hence, 

"11. Titular bishops are by them winked at in the exer- 
cise of jurisdiction from foreign power, mass-priests are fre- 
quent, and pretend a title to every parish in the kingdom, 


masses publickly celebrated without controulment, to the 
great grief of God's people, and increase of idolatry and super- 

" 12. They permit frieries and nunneries to be within 
their diocesses, whereby they continue and increase of late in 
many places ; yea, divers of them suffered to remain in the 
very places where some of the bishops have their special 

" 13. In many places of the land where protestants are for- 
bidden and restrained, papists are permitted to keep schools; 
unto some whereof such multitudes of children and young 
men do resort, that they may be esteemed rather universities, 
teaching therein not only the tongues, but likewise the liberal 
arts and sciences. 

" 14. They set forth and suffer to be published wicked 
libels and ungodly pamphlets, tending to sedition, faction, and 
disunion of the British inhabitants, such as, * Examen Con- 
jurationis Scoticae/— ( Lysimachus Nicanor,' &c. And in 
their sermons, prayers and ordinary table-talk, divers of the 
bishops in matters quite beside their calling, have not desisted 
to raile, curse, and most bitterly inveigh against the kingdom 
of Scotland, and all their proceedings; labouring to make 
them odious, thereby proving themselves firebrands of sedi- 
tion between the two nations, proclaiming their profanity by 
drinking healths to the confusion of that nation. 

" 15. The most learned and seemingly moderate and 
pious of prelates publickly in sermons at Dublin, exclaimed 
against and condemned the Scotish covenant and religion 
profest in that kingdom, with most invictive terms : and in 
the Starchamber in Dublin, at the censure of Henry Steward, 
Esquire, his wife, and two daughters, and James Gray, for 
refusing to take an oath, for which there was no other ground 
than the Earl of Strafford's command, and which was against 
the covenant of Scotland, uttered these words, viz. ' These 
people, with Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, do withstand the 
ordinance of God ; and therefore 1 leave them to the judg- 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 285 

ment of Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, and agree to their 
oensure though deeper. 9 

" 16. They have frequently made symoniacal pactions and 
bargains in the conferring of benefices, and ordinarily permit 
ministers to exchange their leases of tythes, which the former 
incumbent ministers have set at certain rates. 

" 17* The prelates have usually appointed such men to be 
their commissaries, officials, and registers, who altogether 
neglecting the punishment of vices cognizable in their courts, 
look only to their gain. 

" 18. Though they pretend themselves the advancers of 
virtue and punishers of vice, yet they usually, without farther 
satisfaction, absolve the most scandalous persons for a summe 
of money, and often question not at all such, from whom be- 
fore hand they receive such a summe ; which is a cause that 
many wickednesses do more and more abound. 

" 19- If any be presented by their apparitors, who are 
usually papists, if it be but for non-payment of the clerk's 
groate, or not observing some one of their frivolous injunc- 
tions, yea, though the party be not found culpable, yet they 
require most excessive and unjust fees. And if their demands 
be not satisfied, though never so great poverty might plead 
for mercy, they presently proceed to the censure of excommu- 
nication ; thus vainly and blasphemously abusing the high 
ordinance of God, so many hundreds of us remain under that 
censure, and multitudes constrained to run out of the land, to 
the undoing of them and theirs. 

" 20. The prelates, that they might manage Peter's sword 
as well as his keys, have, some of them, procured that most 
unlawful writ of assistance, whereby his majestie's officers and 
ministers are required to yield assistance unto the bishop, his 
official, or any deputed by him : which writ is by their officers 
most notoriously abused, and many times put into the hands 
of their apparitors, who, under colour thereof, apprehend 
honest men and women, casting them into prison, until! they 
be forced to free themselves by a heavy composition. 


" 21. They charge church-wardens with articles far beyond 
their understandings, to every particular whereof, if they re- 
fuse to answer or present, then are they bound to answer for 
it at council-table, or high-commission court, or both; and 
though there acquitted, yet no remedy left them for their 
great datnmages. 

" 22. They swore church-wardens to attend ail their visi- 
tations and circular courts ; and these, for their articles, oaths, 
admissions, and discharges, they make them pay most exces- 
sive and undue fees never before practised or required. 

" 23. The commutations for penance, which either should 
not be at all, or, if exacted, then set apart for the poor and 
other pious uses, cometh either to the prelates' kitchen, the 
commissarie's purse, or both. 

" 24. The prelates and their faction, 88 they inherit the 
superstition of the papacy, so of late they exact, with all 
severity, the obsolete customs of St. Mary-Gallons, mortua- 
ries, portions, &c. which, as they were given by superstition 
and used to idolatry, so now they are taken by oppression 
and applied to riotousness. 

" 25. They have also constantly practised and suffered the 
buying and selling of the sacraments, which is an heavy 
burden. And where the poor have not to pay the minister's 
and clerk's fees, they will not marry them, nor suffer their 
dead to be buried. 


" 26. In the high-commission court, against all law and 
equity, they sit judges in their own cause, and take cogni- 
zance of the highest and smallest matters, going therein with- 
out controul. Hence, 

" 27. In the said court they usurp with an high hand the 
judicature of civil causes, impose fines beyond all bounds, 
and imprison at their pleasure, whereby many have been 
utterly undone. 

" 28. They proceed in the said court by way of roost cruel 
and lawless inquisition, not only into men's actions and words, 
but reaching even to their very thoughts, in imposing the 



most unlawful oath ex-officio, to force accuse, not only 
others, but likewise their own selves, contrary to law and the 
very maxims of nature. And if any refuse to take this oath v 
then are they imprisoned and fined beyond measure, to the 
ruin of all that fall under their indignation. 

" 29. Divers of the prelates did jointly frame, and wickedly 
contrive, with the earl of Strafford, that most lawless and 
scandalous oath, imposed upon the Scottish-British among 
us, who were protestants, for receiving all commands indefi- 
nitely. And some of the prelates were the occasion, that wo- 
men and maids should be forced thereunto. Hence commis- 
sions issuing to all places for the exacting of it, they were 
prosecuted with so much rigour, that very many, as if they 
had been traitors in the highest degree, were searched for, ap* 
prehended, examined, reviled, threatened, imprisoned, fetter- 
ed, by threes and fours in iron yoakes ; some carried up to 
Dublin in chains, and fined in the star-chamber in thousands 
beyond ability, and condemned to perpetuall imprisonment. 
Divers, before delivriiig of children, were apprehended, threat- 
ened and terrifyed. Others of them, two or three days after 
child-birth, so narrowly searched for, that they were fain to 
fly out of all harbour into woods, mountains, caves, and corn- 
fields, and many days and nights together absent themselves, 
to the impairing the health of very many, and to the death of 
divers and loss of their goods, which the enemy at their plea- 
sure made havock of. These, with many more inexpressible, 
have been the woefull effects of the oath, drawn up by the ad- 
vice of the prelates, and so unjustly pressed by the authority 
of the earl of Strafford. 

" 30. The prelates with thqir faction, have been injurious 
not only to the spiritual, but also to the temporal estates of 
most men ; for, under the colour of church-lands, they have 
injuriously seized into their hands much of the best lands in 
every county, so that there is scarce a gentleman of any worth, 
whom they have not bereaved of some part of his inheritance ; 
few daring to oppose their unjust commands, and if any did, 


there is none able to maintain their just titles against their 
power and oppression. 

" 31. By these ways have they ruinated and undone many 
families, destroyed and cast away thousands of souls, and 
moreover, in their own persons, have been a scandal to the 
gospel, and a stumbling-block, even unto the common enemy, 
by their swearing, cursing, drunkenness, Sabbath-breaking, 
&c, having such servants usually in their families as are the 
most profane in the kingdom, few others countenanced by 
them but such ; and if any seem to be of an holy life, he is 
scorned and persecuted by them. 

" Thus, they publishing and proclaiming themselves the 
children of Ishmael and Esau, we must humbly beseech you, 
as the true sons of Israel, to take order with them as God 
shall direct, whom we shall ever pray to be aiding and assist- 
ant unto you in this great and glorious work of reformation."^ 

The representations contained in this petition, which the 
reader has seen were but too well-founded, were followed by 
others equally strong against the conduct of Strafford in the 
administration of the civil affairs of the kingdom. Meanwhile 
the commons proceeded leisurely but steadily with their im- 
peachment. And the Irish commons, following the example 

86 This valuable document was published immediately after it had been 
presented to parliament, in the form of a tract, entitled, " The humble Pe- 
tition of the Protestant inhabitants of the counties of Antrim, Downe, Ty- 
rone, &c, part of the province of Ulster, in the kingdom of Ireland, con- 
cerning bishops. Expressed in thirtie-one heads of grievances, by reason 
of their over ruling lordly power. As it was presented to the Right ho- 
nourable assembly, the knights, citSKns, and burgesses of the house of 
commons in this present parliament And accepted of that honomrable 
house.'* London, 1641, 4to. pp. 12. It is inserted at length by Prynne, 
in his " Antipathy of Lordly Prelacy to Monarchy.** Lond. 1641, 4to. 
part ii. pp. 369, et seq. And it was reprinted in the beginning of the last 
century, in a rare controversial tract, in defence of presbyterians, bearing 
the quaint but apposite title, — " A sample of Jet-black Prelatic Calumny.** 
Glasgow, 1713, 4to. pp. 133, et seq. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND* 289. 

set them in England, at their reassembling in March 1641, 
impeached four of the confidants of Strafford, among whom 
was bishop Bramhall, as participators in his treason. 

Sixteen of the charges against Strafford, related to his go- 
vernment of Ireland, the more important of which were fully- 
substantiated. Among these, his issuing of the warrant to 
bishop Leslie, empowering him to imprison at pleasure the 
nonconformists of bis diocese ; and his imposing of the black 
oath without authority of parliament, held a prominent place. 
In the investigation of the latter charge, the case of Henry 
Stewart and his family, already detailed, was particularly 
dwelt on, and produced a strong impression on the house. 
Sir John Clotworthy and sir James Montgomery, appeared as 
witnesses on several of the articles ; and their testimony was 
of great importance in bringing home to him the general 
charge of an arbitrary and tyrannical violation of the fun- 
damental laws of the kingdom. His trial commenced in 
Westminster Hall on the twenty-first of March, and after se- 
venteen sessions, closed on the thirteenth of April. The ju- 
dicial was then exchanged for the legislative mode of proce- 
dure, and a bill of attainder, founded on the evidence pro- 
duced upon the impeachment, was introduced into the com- 
mons, and speedily passed, only fifty-nine voting against it. 
On the sixth of May, the judges, being referred to, gave it as 
their opinion that Strafford deserved to undergo the penalties 
of the law against high treason. Two days afterwards, the 
bill was passed by the lords, only nineteen voting in the mi- 
nority ;<'?> and the king having given the royal assent to it,— 
an act of inexcusable perfidy, — the unfortunate but guilty 
Strafford, was beheaded on Tower-hill, on the twelfth of May, 
in the forty-ninth year of his age — a memorable example to 
all ambitious and unprincipled statesmen ! 

The deputy Wandesford, shocked and alarmed by the im- 

*7 The bishops were not present, the canons forbidding them to take part 
in any measure involving a capital punishment. 
VOL. I. V 


peachment of Strafford, and the intractable turbulence of the 
Irish parliament, took seriously ill, and died suddenly on the 
third of December. The government of Ireland, after some 
ehanges, was ultimately committed, in the beginning of the 
year 1641 , to two lords justices, sir John Parsons and sir 
John Borlase. Both of these belonged to the puritan party ; 
but the latter being a military officer, the chief burden and 
responsibility of the government rested on the former. They 
laboured to repair the evils of Strafford's administration ; and 
cordially co-operated with the Romanist party in prosecuting 
the redress of those grievances which had been so long the 
subject of general complaint The several individuals, who 
had suffered under the arbitrary proceedings of the late deputy, 
were now freed from the penalties wantonly imposed on them. 
Archibald Adair, the deposed bishop of Killala, was released 
from his cruel imprisonment, and elevated to the bishopric 
of Waterford, which was vacant by the death of his former 
enemy, Adderton, who was publicly executed for gross and 
horrible immorality. m 

Henry Stewart and his family were also liberated from their 
unjust confinement in Dublin. But their property having 
been, in the mean time, confiscated, they were reduced to 
a state of abject poverty. Mr. Stewart retired to Scotland, 
and as he was a native of that kingdom, he applied, in the 
month of September, to the parliament sitting at Edinburgh, 
to aid him in obtaining the restitution of his property. He 
thus submitted his case to their notice : — " Petition exhibited 
to the house, by Henry Stewart, Esquire, who was imprisoned 
in Ireland, a year and three months, for not taking the un- 
lawful oath, and his goods taken from him, whereby his wife 
and children are utterly impoverished; humbly beseeching the 
king and parliament for their recommendation to the parlia- 
ment of England for his restitution." On this representation, 

28 Adair's appointment to Waterford took place, July 13th. At the 
rebellion, he retired to England, and died at Bristol in 1647. For the 
case of Adderton, see Ware's Bishops. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 291 

" the house ordains the lord chancellor and the earl of 
Dunfermline, seriously to recommend this petition from them 
to the English commissioners."* 29 ' 

A second application was shortly afterwards made to the 
same court by another aggrieved subject of Ireland, whose 
case has been already related. Mr. Adair of Ballymena, 
whom Strafford and bishop Leslie were so anxious to seize, 
but who, by escaping to Scotland, had eluded their vigilance, 
had, during his absence, been condemned as a traitor, and 
his property in Ireland confiscated. He continued, however, 
to reside unmolested on his paternal inheritance in his native 
country. Here he possessed considerable influence, and had 
been returned to sit in the Scottish parliament as laird of 
Kilhill, and member for the shire of Galloway. He applied 
to the house to recommend his case to Charles, then at Edin- 
burgh, in order that the sentence of the Irish courts, pro- 
nouncing him a traitor, might be reversed. The following 
minute shows the favourable manner in which they received 
his application: — " November 5th, 1641. The house, all 
in one voice, does seriously recommend KilhilTs business to 
his majesty, anent the cancelling some records in Ireland, 
and taking them off the file ; whereby he was cited by the 
late deputy there, and adjudged as a traitor, in respect that 
he, in the late troubles, had adjoined himself to his own na- 
tive country ." (30) When this unanimous recommendation 
was laid before Charles, he engaged to have it carried into 
effect, which was subsequently accomplished. The sentence 
was rescinded, and its penalties removed ; and, it may be 
added, a lineal descendant of the same name still enjoys the 
restored property. 

The English parliament also contributed its powerful aid 
to the redress of Irish grievances. In the month of August, 

89 Balfour's Annals, iii. 93. I have not been able to ascertain the result 
of this recommendation to the long parliament. 
» Balfour, iii. 186. 


by a unanimous vote of the house, they rescinded the sentence 
of the Star-Chamber court in England, by which the county 
of Londonderry, with the towns of Deny and Goleraine, had 
been forfeited to the crown. This extensive confiscation was 
one of the most impolitic, as it was one of the most unjust, 
measures of Strafford's administration. For not only did it, 
by endangering the property, rouse the indignation, of all 
who held by patent from the crown, — a very numerous and in- 
fluential class in Ireland ; but by wresting this valuable plan- 
tation from the corporation of London, so deep a resentment 
was excited in the city against him, that his fell was thereby 
greatly accelerated. Their property was now restored to 
the corporation, to the great joy of the whole city, and to the 
manifest prosperity of this important portion of Ulster. Nor 
ought it to be forgotten, that, in less than half a century after- 
wards, the safety of the empire at large, and its deliverance 
from popish tyranny and misrule, were, in a great measure, 
owing to the performance of this act of justice by the English 
commons. Had this extensive plantation, with its important 
towns and cities, continued under the immediate patronage 
and direct influence of the subsequent kings of England, in 
all human probability, James II. would never have been de- 
feated under the walls of Derry. 

The Irish parliament, following in the train of the sister 
judicatories in both kingdoms, engaged still more vigorously 
in remedying the evils of Strafford's government. One act 
of theirs deserves to be specially noticed. The high-commis- 
sion court, the chief engine of his cruel and arbitrary imposi- 
tions, was summarily abolished, as an intolerable grievance, 
and contrary to the fundamental laws of the nation. The 
following minute, entered on their journals upon that occasion, 
shows the light in which the proceedings of that court were 
then contemplated. " It is voted upon question, that all the 
proceedings in the court, called the high-commission court, 
and the several pretended sentences of excommunication in 
the said court against Robert Rosse of the parish of Bangor ; 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 293 

James Hamilton of the parish of Ballywalter, clerk ; Robert 
Bleare of Bangor, clerk ; David Kennedy of the parish of 
Newton, clerk; and Robert Wilson of Killeghie, [Killi- 
leagh,] all of the diocese of Down respectively, were from the 
beginning, and are void in law and null, as if they had never 
been pronounced against them, or any of them ; and that all 
the said several sentences shall be taken off the file of the 
registry, and out of the registry of the said court : as also, all 
the original proceedings there, that there may remain no re- 
cords of those illegal and extrajudicial proceedings which are 
voted for a general grievance by this house : And that a copy 
of this order shall be read in the several parish churches, 
where the said persons lately dwelt, by the ministers, that so 
all persons may take notice." (M) 

The parliament also took steps to redress the several 
grievances, arising out of the oppressions of the ecclesiastical 
Courts, and the illegal severities of the prelates. Petitions 
poured in during this session, extending from May to August, 
against the bishops; particularly against those of Deny, 
Down, and Raphoe. Mrs. Pont, with whose case the reader 
is already acquainted, now a widow, presented a petition 
against the latter, for committing her to prison, and charging 
her with high treason, solely on his own authority. Her 
petition was referred to a select committee, who reported that 
the bishop, by his illegal conduct in this case, had involved 
himself in the penalties of the statute of Pramunirc. Their 
report was sustained by the house, and formally communicated 
to the lords, but no further proceedings appear to have been 
taken against the guilty prelate. (3a) Chappell, bishop of Ross, 
was called to account for his oppressive conduct while provost 
of Trinity College ; and " all and every his proceedings— r 
during his continuance in the said office," were unanimously 
voted to be " great grievances, and fit to receive redress." (33 > 
Steps were subsequently taken by the parliament to alter the 

» Commons' Journals, i. 526. » ibid. i. 879, 458, 5. » Ibid. L 414 


constitution of the college, as regulated by the intolerant 
canons established under the auspices of Laud, and to place it 
upon its original foundation ; but this important reformation 
was interrupted by the Rebellion, and never afterwards re- 

During these legislative proceedings, the army which Straf- 
ford had stationed on the eastern coast of Antrim remained 
inactive. Their only employment had been that of raising a 
fort of earth at Olderfleet, to preserve the shipping in the 
harbour of Larne ; and constructing an encampment with 
trenches and parapets, that, when called on actual service, 
they might be experienced in the formation of such temporary 
fortifications. < M) Charles having, in the mean time, acceded 
to the demands of his Scottish subjects, and relinquished the 
design of invading that kingdom— the object for which these 
forces had been raised — they were thus rendered useless, nor 
was there any pretext for maintaining any longer this expen- 
sive establishment. The English parliament, accordingly, 
urged Charles to disband this army ; but he evinced the ut- 
most anxiety to keep it on foot. The former began to be ap- 
prehensive, that, consisting chiefly of Romanists, (S6> and com- 
manded by the creatures of Strafford, it might be transported 
to England to support, by force of arms, the royal, against 
the popular, party. They therefore urged their applications 
with greater earnestness. Charles was at length compelled to 

* Carte, i. 104. 

85 See note 15 of this chapter, p. 269.— In corroboration of what Mr. 
Brodie has urged to prove the army raised by Strafford in 1640 to haft 
been almost entirely composed of Roman catholics, I subjoin the fol- 
lowing testimony of a Romanist writer, which I recently met with in a 
Latin work, entitled, " Descriptio Regni Hiberniae, Sanctorum inside, et 
de prima origine Miseriarum et motuum in Anglia, Scotia et HiberniA 
regnante Carolo primo rege. Per R. P. F. Antonium Prodinum, Hiber- 
nura Lectorem Jubilarum,&c," 4to. pp. 111. Published at Rome in 1721, 
and dedicated by " O'Neill*' to Cardinal Pamphilus. In page 44, the 
writer says, " Thomas Comes Straffordie, Hibernie pro-rex, vir magni 
concilii et authoritatis, decern millia Catholicorum Hibernorum militum, 
a multis ante* mensibus in amis habuit in Ultonia." 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 295 

yield to their importunity ; and these obnoxious forces were 
disbanded in the month of August, and their arms and am- 
munition deposited in the castle at Dublin. 

But though dissolved as an Irish array, Charles was anxious 
that, in conjunction with additional levies, they might, under 
the sanction of the Irish parliament, be permitted to enter into 
the service of his ally, the king of Spain, in Flanders. But all 
parties in the commons united in opposing this design. The 
puritans were against it, on the ground that these forces would 
be as conveniently placed there, as in Ireland, for the invasion 
of England, should Charles be led to adopt this desperate 
measure, of which they were becoming more and more ap- 
prehensive. The Roman catholic party affected to clamour 
against their removal, lest they might be sent back by the 
Spanish monarch, whose ancestors had often meditated the 
invasion of Ireland, for the purposes of rebellion or of 
conquest. Subsequent events render it probable that the 
leaders of the latter party opposed the removal of this dis- 
ciplined soldiery, actuated by the same religious prejudices 
and antipathies as themselves, as the view of retaining 
them to aid in the rebellion, which, there is reason to believe, 
was even then meditated. The English concurred with the 
Irish parliament in opposing the removal of these troops; 
and thus thousands of an idle restless soldiery, hostile to the 
English power, full of hatred against the puritans, and ready 
to be engaged in any enterprise, however desperate, were de- 
tained in the country to aggravate the horrors of the rebel- 
lion, which, in a few weeks afterwards, broke out, and deluged 
the kingdom with seas of blood. 



The kingdom peaceful <md prosperous— Rebellion projected by the native Irish 
—Incited by religious antipathies — Hastened by the state of affairs in Eng- 
land—Irish conspirators actuated by different views—Secret intrigues ef the 
king— The day appointed for the insurrection— Plot discovered— Progress 
of the rebellion in Ulster — Seizure of Charlemont, Dungannon, Newry, jpe. 
—Enniskilkn, Derry, Cokraine, Jr. preserved — Proceedings at Carrickfer- 
gus—And in the county of Antrim — Belfast and Lisburn secured — Proceed- 
ings m the county of Down— Success of the Romanists— Their sub s e qu en t 
cruel ties — Retaliated by the protestants — Massacre at Istand-Magee — FoL. 
lowed by famine and pestilence — Sufferings of the clergy— Death of bishop 
Bedell— Number of protestants massacred— Ulster Scots partially preserved. 

Ireland was now in a state of universal tranquillity. At no 
former period had the country enjoyed so much real prospe- 
rity, and so long internal peace. The evils of Strafford's ad- 
ministration had been, in a great measure, remedied ; and that 
obnoxious and formidable governor had paid the penalty of 
his delinquencies. Charles had confirmed to all parties the 
privileges for which they had so long petitioned, and fully re- 
dressed the grievances of which they had so repeatedly com- 
plained. All dissatisfaction or anxiety with respect to defec- 
tive titles, had been removed by the confirmation of the 
graces, and by other conciliatory acts of the sovereign and the 
English parliament. The Roman catholic party enjoyed 
ample toleration. Their nobility were unrestricted in their 
privileges, and shared in the titles and dignities conferred on 
the peers of Ireland by James and Charles. Their gentry 
were members of parliament, judges, magistrates and sheriffs. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 297 

Their lawyers occupied the same station at the bar as protes- 
tants, and practised as freely in the courts of law. Their 
clergy were unmolested in the performance of their religious 
rites, and their other ecclesiastical functions. (?) In obtaining 
the redress of national grievances, both protestants and Ro- 
manists cordially co-operated. The constitutional administra- 
tion of the lords justices was universally popular ; and a new 
era of national improvement and civilization appeared to be 
opening on this long-distracted country. 

But these anticipations were awfully disappointed. " The 
hopes conceived from a peace of forty years, from the gradual 
improvement of the nation, from the activity of its parliament, 
from the favourable disposition of the king, from the temper 
of the English parliament, were in an instant confounded ; and 
the calamities of former times revived in all their bitterness.^ 

The causes of the memorable Rebellion which occurred 
at this period, are very variously stated by historians. The 
scheme of an insurrection for the overthrow of the British power, 
the recovery of the forfeited estates, and the re-establishment 
of popery, undoubtedly originated with the descendants of the 
northern chieftains, who had been banished from Ireland and 
whose properties had been confiscated, in the beginning of the 
century. They had lived in favour at the courts of Rome and 
Madrid, where they enjoyed splendid allowances, and held high 
military rank.* 9 * They maintained almost uninterrupted com- 
munication with their relatives in Ulster, whose antipathies 
against the English as invaders and usurpers on the one hand, 
and heretics and persecutors on the other, were studiously in- 
flamed by those most bigoted emissaries— the foreign educat- 
ed priests. (4> Conscious that the occupiers of their former 

1 Cox, ii. 72. O'Connor, Hist Add. part ii. 254. 

2 Leland, iii. 86. 

3 O'Connor's Hist Add. ii. 314. 

* The following is the remarkable language of lord Castlehaven, a Ro- 
pan catholic nobleman, attached to the royalist party. " True it is, that 
forty yean continual and flourishing peace, from the last of queen Eliza- 


properties could not be dispossessed, except by the total sub- 
version of the British power, these plotting exiles assured their 
countrymen of an invasion, supported by continental succours, 
which would rescue them from their fancied bondage, and re- 
store them to their territories, and the nation to her independ- 
ence. This alluring proposal was eagerly embraced by the 
leaders of that party, denominated the old or native Irish. 
This portion of the population still brooded over the wrongs 
inflicted on their ancestors by the English ; and their aver- 
sion to the British government had been latterly increased by 
the insincerity of Charles in the matter of the graces, and die 
tyranny of Strafford in that of defective titles ; though these 
causes of complaint had been recently removed under the ad- 
ministration of the lords justices. 

But it was on the ground of religious grievances that the 
native Irish were most readily incited to rebellion* They 
were the adherents of popery in its grossest form. The re- 
formed faith, as the reader has seen, had been p rese nte d to 
them under all the disadvantages of being the religion pro- 
fessed and propagated by those whom they were artfully taught 
to consider as invaders and oppressors. No adequate means, 
except in a few insulated cases, had been employed for their 
conversion ; even the use of their native language, as a me- 
dium of instruction, had been unaccountably and perversely 
neglected. With not many exceptions, the reformed clergy 
had been either indolent or careless on the one hand ; or bigot- 
ed and intolerant on the other, despising the Irish as mere 
barbarians, unworthy as well as incapable of being educated 
or reformed. The prejudices and ignorance of the people at- 

beth to 1641, seemed to carry a fair outside, as if all those national former 
animosities bad been extinguished. But, alas ! the earls of Tyrone and 
Tyrconnal, and the councils of Spain and Rome, and the Irish monasteries 
and seminaries in so many countries of Europe, and very many of the 
churchmen returning home out of them, and chiefly the titular bishops, to- 
gether with the superiors of regular orders, took an effectual course, under 
the specious colour of religion, to add continually more fuel to the burning 

coals." Memoirs, p. 22. 


A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 299 

tached them the more firmly to their ancient superstition ; 
while, by their own clergy, they were taught to hate and abhor 
both the persons and religion of the British. Although, since 
the commencement of the century, the penal statutes had been 
seldom enforced, and that only in extreme cases, on political 
imther than on religious grounds, and although they had been 
for some time virtually repealed ; yet the exasperating cry of 
persecution continued to be rung in their ears, till the multi- 
tude were fully prepared for the work of extirpation. These 
embittered feelings were studiously festered by the priesthood, 
who were more anxious for an insurrection, that they might 
regain the ecclesiastical property of the kingdom, than even 
the gentry were, that they might recover their forfeited es- 
tates. w The priesthood, in their turn, were instigated by the 
emissaries of the pope, ambitious of signalising his pontificate 
by se-establishing his supremacy over this ' island of saints,' 1 
•till regarded as the especial patrimony of the Romish see. 
The destruction of protestantism was accordingly a prominent 
object of the contemplated rebellion ; and the necessity of such 
m measure, for their own safety and the security of their reli- 
gion, was assiduously urged upon the people, by alarming but 
unfounded reports of the persecuting dispositions of the Eng- 
lish puritans. <*> The late successful struggles, too, of the Scots, 
in defence of their national faith and independence, against 
the arbitrary impositions of the king and his ecclesiastical 
advisers, contributed not a little to encourage the Irish 
m their design. But the former had vindicated their re- 
ligious liberties in a manner far different from that in which 

* Sir William Petty says, <* the cause of the rebellion waa a desire of 
tike Romists to recover the church revenues, worth about L. 110,000 per an- 
num." Pol. AnaL p. 817, apud '* Tracts relating to Ireland." Dub. 

6 Sir John Clotworthy was absurdly reported to hare said in a speech 
in the English parliament, " that the conversion of the papists in Ireland 
was only to be effected by the Bible in one hand, and the sword in the 
other." Nalson, ii. 536. This was a royalist calumny, totally at vari- 
ance with the whole tenor of his character and actions. 


the latter were preparing to proceed. The one revolution had 
been effected by a firm, open, and unanimous expression of 
the national will, without secret conspiracy or open violence ; 
while the other was about to be accomplished by die most 
criminal means — already employed with success in France— 
the merciless extirpation of the adherents of the reformed 
faith W 

The leaders nf the native Irish and the more adventurous 
of their clergy, had held frequent consultations, even during 
Strafford's administration, on the projected insurrection. Bat 
the scheme of so extensive and perilous an enterprise, as the 
subversion of the British power, was not easily perfected. 
And it is highly probable their plans would not have been 
matured, even so soon as they eventually were, had it not 
been for the posture of affairs at this period in England. 
Charles, indignant at the noble efforts of the long parliament 
to rescue the kingdom from his arbitrary encroachments oa 
constitutional rights, had early resolved to crush it, if pos- 
sible, by force. For this purpose, he had secretly endeavoured 
to induce the English army to declare for the royal preroga- 
tive, in opposition to the parliament, that, with their aid, he 
might disperse that dreaded and now formidable assembly. <* 
It was in the prosecution of the same design that he had 
laboured to prevent the disbanding of the Irish army, relying 
on them as assured and faithful auxiliaries, when the proper 
time might arrive for openly opposing the parliament. He 
had already, under Strafford, received aid from Ireland in 
his first attempts to overawe and repress the Scottish nation, 

7 The Bartholomew massacre— that unparalleled scene of perfidy and 
bloodshed — commenced at Paris, August the 24th, 1572 ; when the pro- 
testants, caressed and lulled asleep by royal oaths, were inhumanly butcher- 
ed, with a view to their entire extirpation out of France. In eight days, 
according to Sully, 70,000 were massacred. The pope declared his appro- 
bation of it by appointing a day of jubilee, and causing magnificent paint- 
ings to be drawn, and medals cast, to commemorate the glorious and joyful 
eye nt ! 

» Brodie, iii. 108—14. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 301 

and he now again looked for assistance from the same quar- 

With the Roman catholics of the committee, deputed from 
the Irish parliament to represent the grievances of the nation, 
it is believed both Charles and his queen intrigued, with the 
view of detaching them from the puritans, with whom they 
had hitherto co-operated, and of inducing them to form a 
party in their native kingdom and parliament, in support of 
the falling cause of prerogative. In return for this seasonable 
assistance, ample immunities, both civil and religious, were 
freely promised ; extending, it is alleged, even to the legal 
establishment of the Romish faith, *> The Irish deputies 
readily listened to the royal suggestions, and at once espoused 
the cause of Charles. The marquisses of Ormond and of 
Antrim, the most influential noblemen at this time in Ire- 
land, had already been separately enlisted in the same cause. 

The plan on which these several partizans of the king were 
required to act was, to take measures for the simultaneous 
seizure of Dublin and the principal forts and castles through- 
out the kingdom, and for disarming and securing those who 
would not join in the project— -even the lords justices them- 
selves, in case they offered any opposition. They were then 
to organize the disbanded soldiery, and augment their num- 
ber to twenty thousand. And having thus secured the 
power, and assumed the authority, of the government in the 
king's name, they were finally to call a parliament, which, 
circumstanced as the country would then be, would be neces- 
sarily devoted to the royal cause. With the resources of the 
entire kingdom thus placed at bis disposal, Charles, with his 
bigoted and overbearing consort, calculated on obtaining a 
speedy and final triumph over the obnoxious parliament. 

While these plans for inducing Ireland to espouse his 
cause were under consideration, Charles resolved to visit 
Scotland, in the hope that, either by ample concessions, or, 
should these fail, by secret stratagems, he might secure the 

» Brodie, iii. 173-6. 


co-operation of that kingdom also in his favourite enterprise 
against the national liberties, so vigilantly protected by the 
English commons. He set out for Edinburgh in the month 
of August ; and in his train was lord Dillon, a Roman catho- 
lic nobleman, a member of the Irish committee, who accom- 
panied him to receive his latest instructions. The other Ro- 
man catholic members of that committee returned, about the 
same time, to Ireland, and urged forward the projected enter- 
prise with zeal and caution. The Romanists of the pale, 
who constituted the more liberal portion of the catholic popu- 
lation, entered readily enough into the scheme ; and on com- 
municating it, through the officers employed in raising forces' 
for Spain, to the Ulster Irish, of whose long-meditated pro- 
ject for the total subversion of the British power they appear 
to have been ignorant, the agents of Charles met with a still 
more cheerful concurrence in their views. The northern par* 
tisans, however* concealed from their new and less violent 
associates the plans of spoliation which they had been secretly 
maturing in conjunction with their expatriated relatives. 
But, at the same time, they hesitated not to embrace with' 
ardour the proposed co-operation, in order to gain one step, 
and that the most material in their original scheme— -the 
wresting of the kingdom out of the hands of the puritans, 
then predominant both in the parliament and the government. 
Up to this point, the views of both parties among the con- 
spirators were perfectly coincident ; beyond it, they were quite 
opposite. (10) The primary projectors of the rebellion, such 
as lord Maguire, Roger Moore, Plunket, sir Phelim O'Neil, 
&c, looked upon the seizure of Dublin and the re-organisa- 
tion of the army, merely as preliminary steps to the overthrow 

10 These two different schemes may he considered as embodied in lord 
Maguire *8 ' Relation,' and in lord Antrim's ' Information.' The former, 
printed in Nalson, ii. 543 — 54, and in Borlase, App. No. ii. and abridged 
by Carte, i. 158—64, gives an outline of the plot as projected by the native 
Irish. The latter printed in Cox, App. Na'xlix. 206 — 11, presents the 
plot as advised by Charles, and adopted by the royalist party. Neither of 
these noblemen, it is apparent, told the whole truth. 


of the British power, the separation of the kingdom from 
England, the recovery of the forfeited estates, and the expul- 
sion of the protestants :— on the accomplishment of these ob- 
jects, they might then, as an independent catholic nation, 
support Charles against his refractory parliament. On the 
other hand, the king's confidential friends, such as the earls 
of Ormond and Antrim, lord Gormanstown, and perhaps 
the other gentry of the pale, sir James Dillon, &c, do not 
appear to have contemplated, in their scheme of insurrection, 
any unnecessary violence to the persons or properties of the 
British. Their grand aim was to remove the puritan party 
from the government of the kingdom, and to place it and its 
resources at the disposal of the king. Until the rebellion 
broke out, however, both parties cordially co-operated, and 
conducted their negociations without division or apparent dis- 

At length Charles, conceiving himself on the point of 
inducing Scotland to espouse his cause, granted commis- 
sions under the great seal of that kingdom, dated at Edin- 
burgh on the first day of October, empowering the Irish 
leaders, to whom they were addressed, to take up arms on 
his behalf, to seize in his name the chief places of strength; 
and to disarm and arrest the Irish protestants, who, as a body, 
were of the puritan party, and were therefore, as a matter of 
course, assumed to be hostile to the royalist cause. But, at 
the same time, his partizans were specially instructed not to 
disturb or molest the Ulster Scots, whom he describes as his 
" loyal and loving subjects," and whom he then hoped to see 
united with their countrymen in Scotland, in one common 
cause against his rebellious parliament. (11) These commis- 

11 A copy of this commission was first published by sir Phelim O'Neill 
in his proclamation from Newry, in November 1641 ; but 1 believe it is not 
now extant in that form. It was next printed in an important pamphlet, en- 
titled, " The Mysterieof Iniquity," pp. 34-6, published in 1643 ; and was 
reprinted by Viccars, in the third part of his Parliamentary Chronicle, p. 70, 
published in 1646, from which it was copied into the folio edition of Mil- 


sions, it is conjectured, were carried to Ireland by lord Dil- 
lon, and accelerated the breaking out of the insurrection. {m 

Con's prose works, (ii. 528,) printed at Amsterdam in 1698. Vicar's copy, 
with the exception of a few verbal alterations, agrees with that afterwards 
published by Rushworth, iv. 400, 2d pagination. On the margin of the 
former copy it is stated that the word * protestant,' is, in another copy, 
• Puritan' [party in Ireland.] 

18 I have been led to take the view stated in the text, especially of the 
participation of Charles, to a certain extent, in the insurrection, and of the 
genuineness of the commission produced by the rebels, from an attentive 
consideration of what has been recently urged on this subject by Brodie, 
iii. 190 — 9., and by Godwin, i. 225—30. Preceding writers, such at 
Harris, in his ' History of Charles I.' pp. 836 — 51., and Mrs. Macaulay in 
her ' History of England,' iii 89—98, had rendered it probable that Charles, 
urged on by his bigoted queen, had encouraged his partisans in Ireland to 
take up arms against the Irish puritans. But the former historians, I con- 
ceive, have so strengthened this probability, as to give it almost the 
tainty of an historical fact. Though so far approving their view, I am 
insensible to some plausible things which might be urged against it. But 
this is not the place for examining them. This curious and interesting 
subject demands an ampler discussion, and a more minute and detailed 
yestigation, than it has yet received. An ' Inquiry' into it, after the 
ner of Birch's satisfactory Inquiry into the kindred topic of Charles's i 
trigues with Glamorgan, would be another valuable accession to British 
history. It is right to add, that neither in the text, nor in any of the 
works above referred to, is it at all designed to implicate Charles in the 
guilt of the massacre, in which the insurrection so soon issued. That re- 
sult of his imprudent negotiations with the Irish leaders was as unexpected, 
and doubtless as deplorable to him, as to all sincere protestants. 

Since this portion of the work was completed, 1 have met with a small 
volume entitled, " Ireland's case briefly stated ; or a summary account of 
the most remarkable transactions of that kingdom since the reformation,"' 
(Lond. 1693,) which has been since repeatedly reprinted under the title of 
" The impartial,** and sometimes " The genuine history of Ireland," by 
Hugh Reilly. This 4 impartial * history, the production of a Romanist, is of 
course strongly in favour of his own party ; and though I am ignorant of 
the character of the book, or what credit is to be attached to its statements, 
I am induced to extract from it the following account of the origin of the 
rebellion, as corroborating, to a certain length, the view given in the text. 
At all events, it shows what was the Roman catholic version of the plot 
in the end of the seventeenth century, when all inducements to suppress 
the name of the king had been removed. The author represents the scheme 
of the insurrection as originating with Charles, who sent instructions to 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 305 

The day originally fixed for the simultaneous seizure of 
Dublin, and the other castles in the kingdom, was the fifth 
of October. But owing to the reluctance of the more mode- 
rate party to have recourse so suddenly to arms, and their de- 
sire of first endeavouring to accomplish their object in the 
parliament, which had been summoned to meet in the begin- 
ning of November, the attempt was postponed to a future day. 
This procrastination was highly resented by the original con- 
spirators, who, alarmed by this appearance of indifference, if 
not of defection, on the part of their associates, urged forward 
their project with redoubled vigour. At length, the twenty- 
Antrim and Ormond to seize the lords justices, the castle, &c, and that 
the matter being conceited with a select number both of catholics and pro- 
testants, the day of the meeting of the Irish parliament in November was 
appointed for putting it in execution. He then proceeds, " But the design 
taking wind and coming to the knowledge of those they call the old Irish, 
from whom Ormond earnestly desired it should be kept secret, Sir Phe- 
lim O'Neill, with several others of Ulster, resolving to be beforehand with 
lus lordship, against whom they were highly incensed for offering to con- 
ceal this secret from them, as if they were less zealous than others for his 
Majesty's service, entered for the same end into a conspiracy, persuading 
themselves that if they succeeded they should not only be indulged hi point 
of religion, as the presbyterian covenanters, but also be restored to their for- 
feited estates, Out of which they had been dispossessed but about thirty years 
before, by the English and Scottish protestants, who now were generally 

bent for the parliament against the king. This is the naked truth of 

the rise and original of the Irish insurrection in winter 1641, as I have 
been often assured by men of sense and known integrity in that kingdom, 
particularly by a very honest gentleman now in France, who, above ten 
years ago, affirmed to me he had it even from Ormond's own mouth some 
years before : and I am fully persuaded it is the most rational and likely 
account that has been yet given of that matter : and for a further confirma- 
tion of it, the marchioness of Antrim, still living, and always a very zealous 
protestant, and therefore, in this case, a witness beyond exception, owned 
to some friends in London in the year 1683, that she had often heard the 
marquis, her husband, give much the same relation of this particular ; and 
withal to affirm, that Ormond had no other ground or motive for the great 
persecution he raised against him upon the late king's restoration, but that 
he suspected him, (and that very wrongfully, as the marquis solemnly pro- 
tested to herself and others,) to have discovered the secret aforesaid to Sir 
Phelim O'Neill." 

VOL. I. X 


third of October was definitely fixed for commencing this 
hazardous enterprise, soon to issue in as atrocious and ex* 
tensive a massacre as history has recorded. The plan agreed 
upon, after repeated conferences, was, that two hundred men, 
under pretence of being levies intended for Spain, should by 
different routes meet in Dublin on the day appointed, which 
was Saturday ; and, headed by Roger Moore, Maguire, and 
others, surprise the castle in the afternoon, and take posses- 
sion of its valuable stores of artillery, arms and ammunitions 
Sir Phelim O'Neill of Kinnard, not far from Caledon in the 
county of Tyrone, engaged to commence the insurrection in 
Ulster on the same Saturday, by the seizure of its chief 
places of strength. He was especially charged with the cap- 
ture of Derry ; his relative, Sir Henry CTNeill,* 1 * was to be 
urged to surprise Carrickfergus ; and Sir Con Magennis, his 
brother-in-law, to seize Newry. The protestants were to be 
taken and imprisoned with as little violence as possible ; and 
agreeably to the king's commission, the Scots were to re- 
main unmolested. 

Throughout all these negotiations the utmost secrecy had 
been observed, although rumours occasionally transpired of 
some approaching convulsion. So early as the month of 
March, Charles informed the lords justices he had received 
intelligence, by his ambassador in Spain, that an unusual 

13 There were two Sir Henry O'Neills at this period ; one of whom 
was the ancestor of the present noble family of O'Neill. It does not 
appear that he entered into the plot ; for his house of Edenduffcarrick,— - 
better known by its modern name of Shanescastle, — was an asylum for the 
protestants after the breaking out of the rebellion. See page 319. I am 
inclined to believe this Sir Henry was a protestant ; and this conjecture 
is strengthened by the statement of the Roman catholic historian in the 
preceding note, that the marchioness of Antrim, — who was Sir HenryM 
daughter and sole heir, Rose O'Neill, — had been " always a very zealous 
protestant." This lady died at Shanescastle on the 27th of April 1695, 
aged 64 years, and was buried in the church at Carrickfergus. Her 
funeral sermon was preached by the archdeacon of Down. M'Skimin, 
p. 141. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 307 

number of Irish priests were returning home under suspicious 
circumstances ; and that reports were prevalent in that coun- 
try of an expected rebellion in Ireland. He accordingly di- 
rected them to use their best efforts to discover whether such 
a design was meditated by the native Irish. This intimation 
was given by Charles before the trial of Strafford, when " no- 
thing could have been more banefol to the interest of the mo- 
narch, and of his devoted minister, than a rebellion."' 14 * But 
the original conspirators, to whose schemes this letter referred, 
conducted their proceedings with such consummate dissimu- 
lation, that no traces of such a plot could be discovered. On 
the eleventh of October, Sir William Cole of Enniskillen in- 
formed the lords justices that many suspicious persons had of 
late resorted to Sir Phelim O^NeilPs house in Tyrone, and 
to lord Maguircs in Fermanagh; and that the latter had 
been carrying on a very extensive correspondence with certain 
of the native Irish, and of the lords of the Pale.* 1 *' But this 
information was so vague, that they could do no more than 
direct Sir William to use increased vigilance, and to com- 
municate the result without delay. 

It was from a different quarter that the lords justices re- 
ceived the first distinct intelligence of the plot. Owen O'Con* 
nolly, by birth a native Irishman and a Romanist, had, when 
a boy, been taken into the family of Sir Hugh Clotworthy at 
Antrim. In this religious household, he had been carefully 
instructed in the principles of the reformed faith ; and under 
this training, he became a zealous presbytcrian. He had now 
left the service of Sir John Clotworthy, probably at the re- 
moval of that excellent family to England ; and had settled 
at Moneymore in the county of Deny, where James Clot- 
worthy, brother to Sir John, resided. M'Mahon, one of the 
conspirators, being intimately acquainted with O'Connolly, 
whom he knew to be a native, but probably not to be a pro- 
testant, entreated him to meet him at his residence in the 

" Brodic, iii. 177. » Carte, Hi. 35. 


county of Monaghan, on business of importance. CTConnolly 
complied with this urgent request ; and finding his friend 
had proceeded to Dublin, followed him thither. They met 
on the afternoon of Friday, the twenty-second of October, 
when M'Mahon cautiously confided to him the scheme of 
the projected insurrection. O'Connolly endeavoured, but 
without success, to dissuade his friend from this hazardous 
project ; and escaping with difficulty from the alarmed and 
suspecting conspirator, he, that night, communicated the 
astounding intelligence to the lords justices. At first they 
could scarcely credit him ; but at length being convinced of 
his veracity, and of the imminent danger which impended, 
they seized the chief conspirators, put the castle in a posture 
of defence, and took such judicious measures as preserved 
the metropolis, and secured the peace of the neighbouring 
districts. By this seasonable disclosure of O'Connolly, a 
presbyterian, the seizure of the castle, — the principal aim of 
the conspirators, and involving the main success of their en- 
terprise, — was providentially defeated ; and their associates of 
the Pale were so disheartened by the disappointment, and so 
awed by the vigilance of the executive, that they appear to 
have abandoned the cause, until the successful progress of 
the northern rebels encouraged them to resume it, a few 
months afterwards. 

In Ulster, the rebellion broke out at the appointed time ; 
and owing to the defenceless state of the protestants, (W) and 
their consternation at so sudden and simultaneous an attack, 
it met, for a time, with no effectual resistance. On the same 

16 Strafford had, in the year 1639, disarmed tbe Scots and the parkas 
party generally through Ulster, to prevent them from assisting their brethren 
in Scotland against the king. They were strictly forbidden to sell or keep 
in their houses either powder or arms, except what might be allowed them 
out of the king's stores in Dublin. Powder tbey were compelled to buy 
of the king at two shillings, equal to above half a guinea present currency, 
per pound ; and they were prevented from having a larger quantity at one 
time than five pounds weight. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 309 

night, on which the first intelligence of the plot had been 
communicated to the lords justices, Sir Phelim O'Neill, ac- 
cording to his engagement, surprised the castle of Charlemont. 
Accompanied by a larger retinue than usual, he on that day 
paid a visit of hospitality to the aged Lord Caulfield, and 
was kindly entertained ; when, on a sudden, protesting he 
had due authority for what he was doing, he seized on his 
unsuspecting host and family ; and his followers, at the same 
moment, made prisoners of the garrison, who had laid aside 
their arms amidst the general festivity of the castle. 

Having secured this post* at that time one of consider- 
able importance, as it commanded the pass of the Black* 
water on the great road from Dublin to the North, Six 
Phelim lost no time. That same night he proceeded to 
Dungannon, which he also surprised early in the morning of 
Saturday, the twenty-third ; and on the same day one of his 
officers took the strong castle of Moneymore (17) in the county 

*7 Cox, ii. 96.— The following account of the seizure of Afoneymore 
oastle, extracted from the Examination of Neil Oge O'Quin, of the pariah 
of Lissan adjoining that town, taken before the commissioners at Cole- 
raine, on the 17th of March, 1652; will show the manner in which the 
plot, kept secret to the last moment, was transmitted from one to another 
among the insurgents, as wefl as the comparative moderation with which 
the enterprise was commenced. It also establishes how intimately con- 
nected the pretended levies for Spain were with the purposes of the rebel- 
lion ; and how early O'Neill,— even before the outbreaking of the insur- 
rections—pleaded the authority of Charles for his proceedings. ' The exa- 
minant stated, that upon Thursday or Friday, the 21st and 22d of October, 
1641, Cormack O'Hagan sent to this examinant to his house, about three 
miles from Moneymore, desiring his company there, for that his son, 
Shane O'Hagan, with his company of foot, which he had raised by the 
king's authority) and had licensed to transport for Spain, were ready, and 
would, on the said Friday, rendezvous at Moneymore — that he went to 
Moneymore with two boys to wait upon him, on Saturday, the 23d of Oc- 
tober, in the afternoon — that he met James Young, a Scottishman, who 
dwelt in Moneymore, and who told him that O'Hagan's company were 
quarrelling with the English and Scotch in Moneymore, because the Irish 
would not pay for their drink — that Cormack O'Hagan showed examinant 
an order from Sir Philemy Roe O'Neill, whereby this examinant was re- 


of Deny, and seized on the houses and effects of the sur- 
rounding prote8tants. At the same time, the sept of the 
O'Quins took the castle of Mountjoy in the county of Tyrone, 
where they made prisoners of captain Blayney and his com- 
pany of soldiers ; and the sept of the O'Hanlons surprised 
Tandragee, in the county of Armagh, where a troop of lord 
Grandison's horse, under the command of captain St. John, 
were quartered. The captain and a few of the dragoons escaped 
with difficulty, leaving the remainder with their horses, arms 
and accoutrements, a prey to the insurgents. On the same 
eventful day, Sir Con Magennis, at the head of the Magen- 
nisses and the M'Cartans, and assisted by the Roman catholic 
inhabitants led on by a father Crelly, surprised the town and 
castle of Newry. The governor, Sir Arthur Tyringham, very 
narrowly escaped ; but the entire garrison were captured and 
disarmed, and fifteen of the towns-people hanged. {l9) The 
rebels found in the castle a considerable supply of arms, and, 
what was still more seasonable, a large quantity of gunpowder. 
In every direction through Ulster, the work proceeded si- 
multaneously. The MacMahons and other septs gained, al- 
most without opposition, the castles of Monaghan, Castleblay- 
ney, and Carrickmacross, in the county of Monaghan; the 
O'Reillys and others seized Cloughouter, the chief place qf 

quired to take and guard Sir Thomas Sraples's house at Liasan, and to 
keep Sir Thomas's family safe from pillaging; and when he (O'Hagan) 
gave this examinant the said order, he told him there was further business 
in hand than he, the said examinant, knew of, and that if all the Irish did 
not presently rise in arms for the king, they would be killed and undone, — 
that at that very instant Cormack O'Hagan, with about twenty men, en- 
tered and surprised the castle of Moneymore for the king's use— that exa- 
minant took, as required, Sir Thomas Staples's house, who was absent at 
Cookstown, two miles off, but his lady and children in the house— that 
Sir Philemy Roe O'Neill made an inventory, about a month after, of the 
goods — that examinant employed the forgeman in making of iron at Sir 
Thomas's iron-works, and the British carpenters and smiths who dwelt 
there in making pikes and pike-heads ; &c. &c.' MS. Dep. Trin. Coll. 

» 8 MS. Dep. Trin. Coll. Dub. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 311 

strength in Cavan ; tho Maguires took the field in Ferma- 
nagh ; and the open towns throughout the counties of Deny 
and Donegall were immediately taken possession of by the 
rebels. <"» 

A few towns and castles were happily preserved in the 
midst of this general and extended insurrection. Enniskillen 
was secured by the activity of Sir William Cole, who had 
succeeded in obtaining precise intelligence of the intended 
rising so early as Thursday, the twenty-first of October. In* 
formation to this effect he had forwarded to the lords justices ; 
but his letters were intercepted at Lough Ramar, near the 
town of Kells. At the same time, he despatched messengers 
to Deny, Clogher, Glasslough, and to as many of the neigh- 
bouring towns and castles as lay within his reach. <*> Sir 
Frederick Hamilton, then at Deny, received this seasonable 
notice on Friday, so that this important city, and the town of 
Newtonlimavady, were secured from surprise, together with a 
few insulated castles in the immediate vicinity of these places. (21) 
When the rebellion did break out, the tidings spread 
«o rapidly in some directions, that several places received 
notice in time to act upon the defensive, and thereby 
defeat the plans of the insurgents. Thus, Mr. William 
Rowley, alarmed by the seizure of Moneymore near his resi- 
dence, on the afternoon of Saturday, fled to Coleraine, where 
he arrived about eight o'clock on the morning of Sunday. 
The unexpected intelligence which he brought was soon too 
amply confirmed, by the multitudes of pillaged people from 
the counties of Deny and Antrim, who fled thither for pro- 
is Carte,i. 172,3. 

80 See a pamphlet, containing much curious local information, entitled, 
« The Information of Sir Frederick Hamilton, Knt. and Col. given to the 
Committees of both kingdoms, concerning Sir William Cole, Knt. and 
Col. With the scandalous answer of the said Sir William Cole, together 
with the replication of Sir Frederick Hamilton, &c" Lond. 1645, pp. 
91, 4to. 

91 Such as the castles of Culmore, BeUaghj, Bollycastle near Newton- 
limavady, Dungiven, &c 


tection during the course of that eventful Sabbath. m By 
this timely notice, Coleraine, then a port of considerable im- 
portance, was also secured. Though frequently attacked, it 
was gallantly defended by the inhabitants under colonel 
Edward Rowley of Castleroe, until relieved by aid from Scot- 
land ; and, during the early period of the rebellion, it proved 
a seasonable asylum for many protestants, including no less 
than twenty ministers. W) The city of Armagh was, in the 
first instance, left unmolested ; and Sir William Brownlow, 
having received early intelligence, was enabled to put his castle 
at Lurgan in the county of Armagh, in a posture of defence. 
Carrickfergus, the only fortified town on the eastern coaat 
of Ulster, was likewise providentially preserved from the in- 
tended attack, which, according to previous arrangement, 
was to be conducted by one of the Macdonnells. The 
alarming news of the insurrection reached this place at ten 
o'clock on the night of Saturday, the twenty-third of Oc- 
tober. The governor, colonel Arthur Chichester, imme- 
diately took the requisite measures to secure the town and 
castle ; and by the beating of drums, and lighting of fires 
on the hills, he warned the country of the impending 
danger. On the Sabbath day, the protestants from the 
surrounding districts rushed into the town in considerable 
numbers, in a state of great consternation ; most of them 
equipped with no better arms than pitchforks, and attended 
with crowds of affrighted women and children. The able- 
bodied men were quickly furnished with such arms and 
supplies of ammunition as the stores in the castle could 

» Cox, ii. 9B. 

» MSS. Trin. Coll. Dub. F. 4. 16. The following intelligence was 
communicated to the Irish house of commons on Tuesday, Nov. 16th. 
" Robert Wallback came from the north and informed the bouse as fol- 
lows ; I. That Londonderry and Knockfergus are safe, and that the rebels 
are not come to Coleraine, [nor] within six or seven miles of it 2. That 
the people of Coleraine, some two hundred in number, fought with 1000 
of the rebels, and slew six of them, and not one of themselves hurt.*' 
A pp. to Com. Jour. i. 15, 


afford ; and were marshalled in companies under the com- 
mand of the principal gentlemen of the county, who had 
also fled to Carrickfergus, and were increasing in number 
every hour. In the afternoon of the same day, colonel Ar- 
thur Hill arrived, having escaped with difficulty from his 
castle at Hillsborough in the county of Down. At first the 
insurrection was considered to be no more than a local quarrel 
between particular parties of the English and Irish. But 
scouts having been sent out, during this anxious Sabbath, to 
ascertain the real nature of the disturbance, it was soon dis- 
covered to be a general and simultaneous rising of the Irish 
Romanists against the British power and people. On receiving 
this information, lord Chichester at Belfast, immediately 
despatched intelligence thereof to the king at Edinburgh. It 
reached him on Thursday the twenty-eighth of October, and 
was the earliest news of this deplorable event received in Scot- 
land. The gentlemen and military officers, assembled at Car- 
rickfergus, were at first uncertain whether they should remain 
within the walk for the defence of the town and castle ; or 
march out in search of the insurgents. Having communi- 
cated an account of their state by letter to Montgomery, lord 
of Aids, in the county of Down, they were directed by his 
lordship to meet him, with whatever forces they could mus- 
ter, at Lisburn, on the following day. 

The town and castle of Antrim were early secured against 
any sudden attack of the rebels by the zeal of colonel James 
Clotworthy, in the absence of his brother, Sir John, who was 
attending his parliamentary duties in London. Castle-Nor- 
ton, at Templepatrick in the vicinity of Antrim, was also 
put in a defensive state by captain Henry Upton. The town 
of Larne, remote from any large body of the insurgents, was 
maintained and fortified by the inhabitants of the adjoin- 
ing districts, under the command of captain Agnew : and 
the neighbouring castle of Ballygelly was held by Mr. James 
Shaw; and on his retiring with his family to Scotland, 
it was garrisoned by part of his tenantry under the com- 


mand of Mr. James Cromie. {24) At the same time, a consider- 
able portion of the lower part of the county of Antrim, from the 
town of Ballyraena, northward to Ballintoy, was preserved by 
the exertions of Archibald Stewart, Esq. This gentleman, the 
most influential protestant in that extensive district, received 
early intelligence of the rebellion from Coleraine ; and on the 
memorable Sabbath so often referred to, he came to the 
church at Dervock, and communicated to the congregation 
the unwelcome tidings. He immediately raised a force of 
nearly eight hundred men from among his own tenantry and 
those of the earl of Antrim. He placed garrisons, composed 
principally of Scots, in the house and church of Ballintoy, 
under Mr. Fullerton and Mr. Archibald Boyd ; in the castle 
of Oldstone near Clough, under Mr. Walter Kennedy ; and 
in such other posts, through the open country, as might most 
effectually check the incursions of the rebels.**^ 

To detach the surrounding Roman catholics from the in- 
surrection, he appointed one of the chiefs of that party, Alex- 
ander, or Alaster Macdonnell, better known in history by his 
Irish name, Colkittagh, (26) to be one of the captains of his 
own regiment : and when, in consequence of information re- 
ceived by the governor, a party of horse were despatched from 
Carrickfergus to apprehend this influential Romanist, Mr. 
Stewart interfered in his behalf, and entered into engagements 
for his loyalty and good behaviour. This generous confidence 
was repaid by Macdonnell immediately joining the Antrim 
Roman catholics, and becoming the cruel and implacable 
enemy of the surrounding protestants. The castles of Dunluce 
and Glenarm were held for the earl of Antrim, who, at this 

» MS. Trin. Coll. Dub. « Ibid— Carte, i. 188. 

« Colkittagh, or Colkitto, that is ' Col the left handed,' was more 
properly hit father's soubriquet, who was at this time a prisoner in Scot- 
land, where he was not long after executed. His son Alaster, was styled 
Mac- Colkittagh, but the English and Scottish historians almost univer- 
sally drop the Mac ; and some, trying to anglicise the name, have absurdly 

converted him into Colonel Kittagh. 


A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 315 

crisis, was resident in Dublin ; and the house of Ballycastle 
was occupied by his mother, the countess dowager of An- 
trim ; but none of these fortified places afforded any protec- 
tion to the protestants.*? 7 * 

The towns of Belfast and Lisburn owed their preservation, 
in a great measure, to the courage and promptitude of a 
single individual, Mr. Robert Lawson, a merchant of the 
city of Deny, and son-in-law of Mr. Barr of Malone, already 
mentioned as a staunch presbyterian. Mr., afterwards cap- 
tain Lawson, thus narrates his proceedings at this eventful 
crisis. " About the sixteenth of October, before any notice 
of an insurrection, having occasion to take a journey from 
Londonderry to Dublin, and to travel by way of Belfast to the 
iron-works within two miles thereof, wherein he had some 
stock and interest, he took his journey from thence to go to 
Dublin upon the twenty-first." His progress was stopped at 
Newry, by the news of the rebellion ; and, together with se- 
veral fugitives from that town, he returned by Dundrum and 
Downpatrick, which he reached on the Sabbath day, and 
" where they stayed to hear a sermon, all the town being in a 
great affright.— -After which they went forwards, and came 
that night to Killileagh, to the Lord Hamilton's, where Sir 
Thomas Lucas and the rest stayed. And captain Lawson 
thereupon, that night, procured a man with him, and came 
in the night by Comber, through the lord of Ards n country, 
about by Little Belfast, and came to Great Belfast, and up 
to the iron-works near thereunto, about three o clock in the 
morning, where his wife was then resident, who had sent 
several messengers before to inquire after him, all of whom 
were either taken or robbed. But captain Lawson, not 
having rest there above two hours, arose, calling two horse- 
men with him. And in the morning, being Monday, went 
down back again to Great Belfast, where they found most 

*7 MS. Trim Coll. Dub. —This dowager countess of Antrim, was Alice 
O'Neill, sister to Hugh, the last earl of Tyrone. Lodge, i. 207, 8. 


part of the inhabitants fled and flying, and carrying away 
their goods to Carrickfergus ; and the old lord Chiches- 
ter <88) shipped aboard in a ship. So captain Lawson went 
throughout the town, and blamed them much for offering to 
leave the town, and entreated for some arms, either by buying 
or lending, but could not prevail. At last he found, in Master 
Lesquire* house, seven musquets and eight halberds, ready 
in the streets to be shipped for Carrickfergus : which arms he 
took, and bought a drum, and beating the same throughout 
the town, raised about twenty men, who came with him again 
up to the iron-works, having Mr. Forbes and some number 
with him, joined with captain Lawson, where also he ga- 
thered in all about one hundred and sixty horse and foot, 
who, about two of the clock, upon the same Monday in the 
afternoon, being the twenty-fifth of October, the second day 
after the rebellion, inarched into Lisnegarvey, and there en* 
tered the town about four of the clock the same day, all the 
people, with the troops there engarrisoned, having left the 
town to the enemy's mercy the Sunday before. 

" They quartered all night in the house the bishop of Down 
lived in, and put many candles in the market-house, and sen- 
tries out in every quarter of the town, making show of six or 
seven lighted matches for every piece, to astonish the enemy, 
who came to the sentries that night, intending to have burned ' 
the town. But our show and carriage was more than our 
force, the enemy being strong and many in number, by which 
means they were affrighted and beat off that night. The 
next morning, being Tuesday, the enemy appeared above the 
town's end, and drove before them about four hundred cows. 
Whereupon captain Lawson, with forty-five horse, issued 
forth, leaving the rest to guard the town ; and it pleased God, 
by their good labour and industry, they took the prey of cows 

88 This was Edward, the second lord Chichester, brother and heir to 
the great lord deputy Chichester. Colonel Arthur Chichester, governor 
of Carrickfergus, was his son and heir, and afterwards became the first earl 
of Donegal!. Lodge, i. 828. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 317 

and some prisoners, and killing others of the enemy ; and got 
seventeen of their mantles. After sending the prey into the 
town, they adventured three miles farther, and brought in be- 
fore night as many more cows, and kept them within the 
town-wall of the bishop's house ; and all the next night also, 
they secured the town, Sir Con Magennis threatening and- 
sending word he would burn the town that night. But it 
pleased God they were prevented and beaten off, and the town 
kept in safety. They often issued forth amongst the enemy 
to prevent their gathering to a great head ; until at length, 
upon the next day, being Wednesday, the troop and towns- 
men that had fled the Sabbath before, came in again to the 
town, hearing and understanding what service captain Law* 
son and his small company of men had done there in securing 
the same ; the preservation whereof, under God, was a means 
of the safety not only of Lisnegarvey and Belfast, but of most 
of those parts thereabouts, being the first that opposed the 
enemy in those parts." ^ 

While captain Lawson was thus seasonably and gallantly 
protecting Lisburn, colonel Chichester had been endeavouring 
to effect the proposed junction with the lord of Aids, at that 
town. On Monday he mustered his forces in a field adjoin* 
ing Carrickfergus ; and having left a sufficient garrison in the 
castle, he marched with the remainder, amounting to about 
three hundred horse and foot, towards the appointed rendez- 
vous. They arrived at Belfast in the afternoon, where they 
were joined by a reinforcement of one hundred and fifty men 
from Antrim. On their march, they met with one of lord 
Antrim's domestics hastening from Dublin to inform his lord- 
ship's friends in the north of the state of affairs there. From 
him they obtained the welcome intelligence of the preserva- 

89 This extract is from a pamphlet, in the British Museum, entitled, " A 
true relation of several acts, passages and proceedings, done, undertaken, 
suffered and performed, by captain Robert Lawson, now one of the sheriffs 
of the cry and county of Londonderry, upon and since the first beginning 
of the great and general rebellion in Ireland, &c." Load. 1643, 4 to. pp. 15. 


tion of the metropolis, and the seizure of the principal conspi- 
rators.. They remained on Monday night at Belfast ; but 
receiving information in the morning, that the rebels, incon- 
siderable strength, were marching behind the mountains to 
the north of the town to attack Carrickfergus, colonel Chi* 
ehester, on Tuesday, fell back for the defence of that import* 
ant post. The information, however, proved incorrect. A 
small party of the insurgents had indeed on that day attacked 
the house of a Mr. Spencer in Kilultagh, beside Lough* 
Neagh ; but be had succeeded in driving them off, and had 
afterwards retired in safety to Glenavy. At length, in the 
afternoon of Wednesday, colonel Chichester and the lord of 
Ards, who had advanced by Drumbo, effected the desired 
junction at Lisburn. They were joined by lord daneboy* 
Sir Thomas Lucas, Sir Arthur Tyringham, Sir James Mont- 
gomery of Greyabbey, Mr. Arthur Hill of Hillsborough, cap- 
tains Blunt, Armstrong, and Edmonstone of Broadisland, 
with several other experienced officers.* 9 " They commended 
Mr. Lawson for his " good care and service in the town, and 
offered him a commission, which he was very unwilling to ac- 
cept of, in regard of his calling, being a merchant, but which 
he at length accepted.'"< sl) The united forces of the protes- 
tants, now assembled at Lisburn, amounted to about fifteen 
hundred horse and foot, though as yet neither adequately 
armed nor duly disciplined. 

The protestants, in the southern portion of the county of 
Antrim, were thus supplied with several places of security, to 
which they were soon compelled to fly for refuge from the 
cruelties of the insurgents. A contemporary document gives 
the following description of their melancholy state at this cri- 
sis. " On the twenty-third of October, 1641, and within a 
few days after, the Irish rebels made slaughter of all men, 
women, and children which they could lay hands on, within the 
county of Antrim, that were protestants, burning their houses 

30 Carte, i. 185. » Lawson'i « Trae Relation/ &c. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 319 

and com; and such as escaped their fury, took sanctuary in the 
towns of Carrickfergus, Belfast, Lisnegarvey, Antrim and 
Lame, and the two houses of Templepatrick and Edendough* 
carrick ; all the said towns and houses lying near the one to 
the other. The rebels had the command of all the rest of 
the country, and within musket-shot of the towns, and to the 
very walls of the two houses, until the middle of June, 

While the protestants in the county of Antrim were thus 
occupied in providing for their security, their brethren in the 
county of Down were not inactive. The lords Claneboy and 
Ards— the former resident at his castle in Killileagh, which 
the rebels had attempted to surprise but without success ; and 
the latter at Newtonards,— -stood upon the defensive, and effec- 
tually checked the progress of the insurrection in the adjoin- 
ing districts. From Newry, however, the insurgents under 
Sir Con Magennis, advanced in a northerly direction towards 
the town of Dromore. The news of the rebellion had reached 
the latter place on the afternoon of Saturday ; and on the fol- 
lowing morning, colonel Matthews, the governor, with as many 
men as he could muster, marched in the direction of Newry, 
to ascertain the state of the country, and the precise nature of 
the disturbance which had so suddenly arisen. Having reached 
the river Bann, he perceived on the opposite side a large body 
of the insurgents amounting to five hundred, who, upon be- 
ing demanded what their purpose was, boldly avowed it was to 
" fire all the protestants out of the country." As the colonel's 
escort consisted of only about twenty men, he was compelled 
to fall back to Dromore. On his return, he found the inha- 
bitants had received certain intelligence of the nature of the 
rebellion, and were hastily preparing to abandon the town. 
After many entreaties, he succeeded in inducing the bishop, 
Dr. Duckworth, to remain for the encouragement of the rest ; 

92 Extracted from a paper entitled, " State of the county of Antrim in 
1641-2." Published in the Rawdon Papers, pp. 91-2. 


and on Monday, having collected about one hundred h< 
and eighty foot, he boldly attacked the rebels, who had 
advanced to the vicinity of Dromore ; and without losing a 
man, he defeated and dispersed them with the loss of some hun- 
dreds. But, during his absence, the timorous bishop, with 
the principal part of the inhabitants, finally deserted tbt 
town ; and although on Thursday, colonel Chichester at the 
head of two hundred infantry, with his own and lord Con- 
way's troop of horse, and one of light cavalry under captain 
Edmonstone, marched to the relief of the town still held by 
Matthews, they found it so defenceless and untenable, that, on 
the following day, they returned to their quarters at Lisburn. 
Sir Con Magennis immediately took possession of Dromore^ 
and treated with wanton and unprovoked cruelty the few pro- 
testants who had ventured to remain. Having burned the 
town, he fell back to Newry, where he effected a junction 
with Sir Pbelim O'Neill. From this place, on the fourth of 
November, they published a proclamation thus addressed :— 
" To all Catholiques of the Roman Partie, both English and 
Irish, within theKingdome of Ireland, we wish all Happiness?, 
Freedome of conscience, and Victory over the English heretkko, 
who have for a long time tyrannized over our bodies, and 
usurped by Extortion, our Estates." In this document, they 
set forth a copy of the king's commission from Edinburgh, 
authorizing them to take up arms in support of the royal 
power and authority ; which copy, they say, " we have here 
sent unto you, to be published with all speed, in all parts of 
this kingdome, that you may be assured of our sufficient war- 
rant and authority herein."' 33 * These proclamations were dili- 
gently dispersed, and contributed no little to augment the 
number, and increase the confidence, of the insurgents. At 
this time, though scarcely a fortnight had elapsed from the 
commencement of the rebellion, they were masters of the 
greater part of the province of Ulster, together with the 

» Myst of Iniq. p. 84—6. 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 321 

counties of Longford in Leinster, and Leitrim in Connaught. 
Nearly thirty thousand men had already joined the standard 
of revolt — all actuated with the deadliest hatred against the 
English, whom they detested as conquerors, and execrated as 
heretics ; so that the moment they obtained a manifest and 
decided superiority, they commenced to wreak their vengeance 
on the defenceless protestants. 

From this period, the comparative moderation with 
which the Irish commenced the insurrection was abandoned. 
They had hitherto contented themselves with seizing the 
houses of the English, despoiling them of their goods, and 
turning them out naked and defenceless. They had at first 
spared the lives of their victims, except where local or per- 
sonal animosities impelled them to the work of blood ; and 
they left the Scottish residents in a great measure unmolested. 
So far, Sir Phelim and his partizans had acted in accordance 
with the directions and stipulations of the royal commission. 
But perceiving his more timid and humane associates, espe- 
cially those of the Pale, withdrawing from the enterprise, in 
consequence of the failure of the attempt on Dublin ; and 
finding himself placed, without control, at the head of a much 
more formidable force than he had ever anticipated, he imme- 
diately abandoned what may be cabled the royal, and prose- 
cuted the original, scheme of the insurrection ; and henceforth 
openly aimed at the extirpation of the entire protestant po- 
pulation, whether of English or Scottish descent. He, there- 
fore, encouraged his infuriated followers to give free vent to 
the direful passions of hatred and revenge, which the Romish 
priesthood had for years been fostering in the breast of their 
people, against their protestant neighbours. The insurrection 
was speedily converted into a religious war, carried on with a 
vindictive fury and a savage ferocity, which have been seldon 
exceeded. Though the enterprise was now formally disowned 
by Charles, and though Sir Phelim, by his brutal excesses, 
had disgusted some of the more ardent of his original asso- 
ciates, yet urged on by Ever M'Mahon, Romish bishop of 
Down, he plunged into the deepest atrocities. 

VOL. I. Y 


The shocking tale of the cruelties perpetrated by the un- 
disciplined and blood-thirsty levies of O'Neill, during several 
months, has been often told ; by none more affectingly than 
by the female historian of England. " An universal mas- 
sacre ensued ; nor age, nor sex, nor infancy were spared ; all 
conditions were involved in the general ruin. In vain did the 
unhappy victim appeal to the sacred ties of humanity, hospi- 
tality, family connexion, and all the tender obligations of social 
commerce; companions, friends, relatives, not only denied 
protection, but dealt with their own hands the fatal blow. In 
vain did the pious son plead for his devoted parent ; himself 
was doomed to suffer a more premature mortality. In vain 
did the tender mother attempt to soften the obdurate heart of 
the assassin in behalf of her helpless children ; she was reserv- 
ed to see them cruelly butchered, and then to undergo a like 
fate. The weeping wife, lamenting over the mangled car- 
case of her husband, experienced a death no less horrid than 
that which she deplored. This scene of blood received yet a 
deeper stain from the wanton exercise of more execrable cru- 
elty than had ever yet occurred to the warm and fertile ima- 
gination of eastern barbarians. Women, whose feeble minds 
received a yet stronger impression of religious frenzy, were 
more ferocious than the men ; and children, excited by the 
example and exhortation of their parents, stained their inno- 
cent age with the blackest deeds of human butchery. 

" The persons of the English were not the only victims to 
the general rage : their commodious houses and magnificent 
buildings were either consumed with fire, or laid level with 
the ground. Their cattle, though now part of the possession 
of their murderers, because they had belonged to abhorred 
heretics, were either killed outright, or, covered with wounds, 
were turned loose into the woods and deserts, there to abide a 
lingering, painful end. This amazing, unexpected scene of 
horror, was yet heightened by the bitter revilings, impreca- 
tions, threats and insults which everywhere resounded in the 
ears of the astonished English. Their sighs, groans, shrieks, 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 323 

cries and bitter lamentations, were answered with— 4 Spare 
neither man, woman nor child ; the English are meat for 
dogs ; there shall not be one drop of English blood left with- 
in the kingdom. 1 Nor did there want the most barbarous 
insults and exultation on beholding those expressions of ago* 
nizing pain which a variety of torments extorted."*** 

These dreadful massacres were no doubt retaliated, to a 
certain extent, by the exasperated British. Suffering under 
the treachery and revenge of the Romanists, who declared 
they would be satisfied with nothing short of the utter extir- 
pation of the heretics, it was scarcely possible for the protest- 
ants to provide for their security, without inflicting summary 
punishment an such perfidious and implacable enemies. The 
violence of the protestant soldiery was in some degree justi- 
fied, as well by the authority of the state, as by the circum- 
stances of the country, and a due regard to self-preservation. 
In many instances they doubtless exceeded their orders, and 
acted with unnecessary and culpable cruelty. But their se- 
verities have been grossly exaggerated by Romanist, and 
even by protestant writers, who not only shut their eyes to 
the awful provocations previously received, but endeavour to 
fix upon the British the guilt of being the fo remost in the 
work of blood. Thus, the murder of several Roman catholic 
inhabitants of the district of Island-Magee, near Carriekfcr- 
gus, in the beginning of the month of January, has not only 
been egregiously exaggerated, and attributed to parties wholly 
innocent of it ; but it has been placed early in November, 
and averred to have been the first blood shed in this unhappy 

3* Maeaulay's Hist, of England, iii. 70-4. 4to. I refrain from inserting 
the note* amend by Mrs. Macsulsy to the above extract, which furnishes 
a detail of suffering too revolting to be dwelt upon but with intense horror; 
and jet too amply borne out by the original depositions to 1m denied. 
While the truth of history will not permit these atrocities to be either 
disguised or extenuated, yet party feelings alone could be gratified by any 
minuter specification of them, than that given in the text. 


This deed of cruelty, however, though deeply to be de* 
plored, and incapable of any justification, cannot in justice 
be confounded with those extensive and unprovoked massacre* 
which, during the two preceding months, had deluged Ulster 
with seas of blood. It resulted out of certain barbarous mur-* 
ders which had been perpetrated only a few days before, on 
the protestant inhabitants of the northern parts of the county 
of Antrim. On the morning of Monday the third of Janu-» 
ary, a party of Irish rebels, from both sides of the river Bann; 
headed by Alaster M'Coll Macdonnell, (Colkittagh,) sur- 
prised a detachment of the British stationed at Portna, near 
Kilrea, under the command of captains Fergus M'Dougall, 
Peebles and Glover, and massacred between sixty and eighty 
of them in their beds. (35) From this place they crossed the 
Bann, and marched through the extensive district of the 
Route, " with fire and sword, murdering men, women and 
children of the British, all along in their march to Ballintoy." 
Thence they proceeded to Oldstone castle, near Glough, which, 
was surrendered to them- by Mr. Kennedy on Thursday, upon 
the solemn assurance of Colkittagh that " none in the place 
should suffer in body or goods." Yet notwithstanding this 
assurance, " about twenty women with children upon their 
backs and in their hands, were knocked down and murdered 
under the castle wall ; and about three score old men, women 
and children, who had licence to go unto Larne or Carrick- 
fisrgus, were that day or the next, murdered by the CTHarVs 
party, within a mile and a half of the said castle."* 3 ® 

These outrages could not fail to exasperate the protestants of 
the adjoining districts, and lead to violent retaliation. Accord- 

*t From the examination of Gilduff O'Cahan of Donseveric, it appears 
that the other leaders in this murder were James M'Coll Macdonnell, 
Patrick M* Henry, Manas Roe O'Cahan, John Mortimer, and examtnant's 
son, Tirlagh O'Cahan. MS. Dep. Trin. Coll. Dub. 

* Examinations of Alice, countess dowager of Antrim,— Fergus Fuller, 
ton of Billy, maltman^— John Blair of Coleraine, &c &c MS. Dep. ut 


ingly, on the following Sabbath, a number of persons from 
beyond the river Bann, and from the neighbourhood of Bal- 
lymena, " all strangers, met at the village of Ballycarry about 
«ermon time ;^ (37) and being joined by a few soldiers from 
Carrickfergus, then garrisoned by raw and undisciplined levies, 
and not by the regular troops, they proceeded to Island-Ma- 
gee, and unhappily retaliated on the Roman catholic inhabi- 
tants of that district, who had hitherto lived unmolested, the 
barbarous murders committed on their countrymen and rela- 
tives during the preceding week. 

Such are the well authenticated circumstances of this dis- 
astrous event, which occurred on Sunday the ninth of Janu- 
ary 1642, and by which not more than thirty individuals—* 
though still too large a number— lost their lives. Yet many 
writers, repeating even to the present day the thrice refuted 
tale, assert that this was a deliberate and authorized massacre, 
of all the inhabitants, men, women and children, of the ter- 
ritory of Island-Magee, to the number of three thousand and 
upwards, perpetrated by the Scottish puritan soldiery of Car- 
rickfergU8, <38) regularly marshalled under their officers, and led 
to the field of slaughter ; and at a time, too, it is gravely 
added, when no blood had as yet been shed in Ireland !<*> 

*7 Examination of James Marshall, who taw these persons at Ballycarry 
on Sabbath forenoon. MS. Dep. ut supra. 

* The Scottish forces, to whom this murder is attributed by some of 
the popish writers, were not at Carrickfergus until the month of April fol- 

■ » The Rev. Dr. O'Connor, a Roman catholic ecclesiastic, to whom I 
have had occasion already to refer, (see note 68, Intro.) calls this " the pre- 
tended massacre of Island-Magee ;" and after clearly proving the ordinary 
accounts of it to be destitute of evidence, he adds, " yet so credulous are 
our Irish writers, that they have hitherto taken this pretended massacre 
upon trust as an historical fact /• Hist Add. Part ii. 234— I may add, 
that the Doctor, like every candid and enlightened Romanist, viewed the 
transactions of this period in their proper light ; for, speaking of them, he 
says, " our ancestors were guilty of abominations, atrocious crimes, to which 
the present generation, thank God, look back with all the horror and in- 
dignation they deserve." Ibid. p. 223. 


Ulster was now converted into * a field of Mood.' The 
cruelties of the Romanists drew down upon them severe re- 
taliation on the part of the betrayed and exasperated protest* 
ants ; by which the former were incited to still deeper atroci- 
ties. Seldom was any quarter given by die rebels to those 
who fell into their hands ; so that, during the winter season, 
the greater part of all the northern counties exhibited appal* 
ling scenes of ' horrid cruelty.' 

The evils inseparable from such an exterminating con* 
test were aggravated by the severity of the season, which 
was more than usually inclement; and were sucoeeded 
Jby the ordinary attendants of civil war— famine and peso* 
lence. Owing to the reckless malioe which the Irish bore 
against every thing British, the valuable stores of oorn 
and cattle belonging to the latter were wantonly squandered 
and destroyed ; while, owing to the scarcity of food thus occa- 
sioned, and the refusal of die rebels in many parts to bury 
the mangled corpses of their victims, a pestilential fever 
broke out, which, during the spring, carried off thousands of 
those who, by flying to the towns, had escaped the fury of 
their enemies. The following account of its ravages, in the 
county of Antrim alone, has been preserved ; and, though 
probably exaggerated, will convey some idea of its malig- 
nity. " The Lord sent a pestilential fever which swept away 
innumerable people ; insomuch that in Coleraine there died 
in four months by computation six thousand ; in Carrickfer- 
gus, two thousand five hundred; in Belfast and Malone, 
above two thousand ; in Lisnegarvey, eight hundred ; and 
in Antrim and other places, a proportionable number." (40> 

Coleraine appears to have suffered more severely under this 
malady than any of the other towns. A minister who re- 
sided in it during the whole course of the rebellion says, — 
" In four months, the mortality beginning with the spring, 

*P Hist. Coll. of Belfast, p. 15, where the authority quoted is, " An 
original manuscript formerly in the possession of the Moira family. " 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 327 

there died an bundled a week constantly, and sometimes an 
hundred and fifty, by just account taken by Henry Beresfard, 
gentleman, one of the last that closed that black list. — So 
that two thousand died in a short space."* 4 ** 

Though all classes of British protestants, whether of Eng- 
lish or Scottish descent, were equally exposed to die suffer- 
ings now detailed, yet on no class did they fall more heavily 
than on the clergy. They were marked out for persecution 
by the priestly instigators of the insurrection, so that, wher- 
ever they could be found, they became almost the first vic- 
tims of the infuriated rage of their enemies. When they fell 
into the hands of the rebels, they seldom met with any quar- 
ter. Many, whose lives were spared, were plundered of their 
goods, and speedily sank under their grievous privations ; 
while others were committed to rigorous confinement, and a 
few reserved to be exchanged for the more noted rebels cap- 
tured by the protestant forces. 

Nor was the rage of the rebels confined to the unoffending 
protestant clergy* Every thing which could be considered in 
any way identified with protestantism was wantonly destroyed. 
The Bible, in a particular manner, was an object on which 
the Romanists vented their detestation of the truth. " They 
have torn it in pieces," say the commissioners in their remon- 
strance presented, by the agent for the Irish clergy, to the 
English commons, scarcely four months after the breaking 
out of the rebellion, " they have kicked it up and down, 
treading it under foot, with leaping thereon, they causing a 

41 MSS. Trin. Coll. Dub. f. 4. 16. This statement is corroborated 
by the following deposition printed in Temple, p. 138. — " James Redferne, 
of the county of Londonderry, deposeth, That in the town of Coleraine, 
since the rebellion began, there died of robbed and stripped people that 
fled thither for succour, many hundreds, besides those of the town who had 
antiently dwelt there ; and that the mortality there was such, and so great, 
as many thousands died there in two days ; and that the living, though 
scarce able to do it, laid the carcases of those dead persons in great ranks, 
into vast and wide holes, laying them so elose and thick as if they had 
packed up herrings together." 


bag-pipe to play the while : laying ako the leaves in the ken* 
nel, leaping and trampling thereupon ; saying, * a plague oft 
it, this book hath bred all the quarrel,' hoping within three 
weeks all the Bibles in Ireland should be so used or won^ 
and that none should be left in die kingdom : and while two 
Bibles were in burning, saying that it was hell-fire that waf 
burning, and wishing they had all the Bibles in Christendom, 
that they might use them so."* 42 } 

An authentic statement of the sufferings of the protestan! 
clergy at this dreadful crisis, taken by authority, has been 
preserved.* 43 * The writer, one of the commissioners appoint- 
ed for the examination of protestant grievances, relates that 
about thirty ministers were massacred in a small part of Ulster 
alone, while a still larger number, died in circumstances of 
extreme wretchedness, 

Of those who were murdered he enumerates the follow, 
ing : — " Mr. Mather of Donoughmore, [in Tyrone,} cut to 
pieces and left unburied ; Mr. Blythe, minister of Dungan* 
non, hanged ; Mr. Fullarton of Loughgall, to whom Sir 
Phelim O'Neill owed at least six hundred pounds upon mart* 

43 On the 23d of December the lords justices issued a commission, which 
was renewed and extended on the 18th of January, to seven clergymen to 
investigate the losses, &c. occasioned by the rebellion, and to report to the 
English parliament Their' first report is embodied in a pamphlet, the 
title of which I subjoin, which was ordered by the House to be printed on 
the 21st of March, 1642. It of course includes those examinations only 
which were taken up to that date, and which amount to no more than 
forty, relating chiefly to the counties of Monaghan and Armagh. It is 
entitled, " A Remonstrance of divers remarkable passages concerning the 
church and kingdom of Ireland ; recommended by letters from the Right 
Honourable the Lords Justices and Council of Ireland, and presented by 
Henry Jones, D. D. and agent for the ministers of the gospel in that king, 
dom ; to the honourable House of Commons in England." London, 4to, 

43 This was in consequence of a second commission issued soon after the 
commissioners, mentioned in the preceding note, bad given in and printed 
their report It is dated April 6, 1642, and was confined to Ulster. The 
commissioners specified arc, Nath. Draiton, Daniel Ilurcourt, William 
Hammond, Simon Chichester, &c. 

*J>. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 329 

gages, and though he had a pass, was stripped and murdered; 
Mr. Matchett, minister of Magberafelt, after long imprison- 
ment,twas murdered at lieutenant ThurslnVs in the county of 
Jjondonderry ; Mr. Hudson, minister of Desertmartin, taken 
between two feather beds out of Mrs. ChappeTs house, where; 
be had been long fed and concealed, was discovered and mur- 
dered ; Mr. Campion of KiHowen, [beside Coleraine,] being 
at the battle of Ballymoney, which the English, in regard of 
the notability of the day, called Black Friday, was killed, the 
rebels commanded by Colkittoa sons ; at the same battle waa 
slain a Scottish minister under the command of colonel 
Archibald Stewart, late agent to the earl of Antrim ; <44) Mr. 
Tudge, minister of Newry, after long imprisonment and 
many perfidious promises, was, with thirteen more, cruelly 
put to death ; of which none but one Greene, a tapster to 
Mr. Butterfield of the Newry, escaped, ransoming his life 
for forty shillings. This Greene brought me this relation in 
May 1642. <**> Mr. Hastings, minister, endowed into 4 
ljving of Mr. Fairfax, but being schoolmaster in Ballysegart, 
a house belonging to my honoured friend, the virtuous Mrs. 
Clotworthy ; him they caused to swim in the lough [Neagh] 
till he was drowned; Mr. Darragh, my lord CaulfielcTs 
chaplain, killed ; Mr. Fleming, minister of Clonfeckle, Mr. 
Mercer, minister of Mullabrack, and Mr. Burns, curate of 
Loughgilly, murdered; Mr. Bradley's curate of Ardtrea, 
Mr. New, killed ; Mr. Wilkinson of Clones, killed at the 
Cavan ; Mr. Thomas Crauford, killed by the rebels after, 
quarter was promised ; Mr. Montgomery of Dunamain parish, 

4* This battle was fought on Friday, February 1 1, 1642. The British, 
under Archibald Stewart, already mentioned, bad marched out of Coleraine 
with six hundred Scots and three hundred English. They were met at 
the Lainy, near the town of Ballymoney, by a large body of rebels under 
Alaster Macdonnell, who routed them ; and, no quarter being given, six 
hundred of the protestant fugitives were massacred. MS. Dep. ut supra. 
Cox, ii. 98. 

43 For a full account of this cold-blooded murder, which was perpe- 
trated early in January, sec Harris's Down, p. 93. 


hanged ; Mr. Paulmaster, that once lived at Carrickfergus, 
minister there, was, as his wife informed me, hanged at hit 
ehurch-deor ; Mr. Flack of Fermanagh, a minister of special 
note, was, with two of his sons, taken out of Castle-Crevenish, 
and also offered up to God as a sacrifice ; Mr. Michael Bcr* 
ket of SaiterVtown, flying for safety with his wife and seven 
small children to Carrickfergus ; where his wife and all his 
poor children died most miserably for want of ordinary nous* 
ishment, himself being famished to the .point of death, find- 
ing the pangs strong upon him, got leave to go into the 
church at Carrickfergus, where he had not long stayed, did 
there depart this life ; Mr. Griffin, Mr. Hartley, Mr. 8tarkey, 
curate, all of Armagh, murdered on the sixth of May ; Mr. 
Beveridge of Killaman and Mr. Robison of Kilmore? minis* 
ters of the same county, were sufferers at the same time; 
Mr. Lightfoot of Castleblayney, cruelly murdered. t46> 

" Besides these thus massacred, there died of die pestilen- 
tial fever, Bedel, bishop of Kilmore ; Mr. Pierce, minister 
of the Lurgan, at Carrickfergus; Mr. Simon Chichester, 
minister of Belfast ; Mr. Duckett of Lisnegarvey ; Mr* Reo% 
shaw, minister of Coleraine ; Mr. Collins, minister of Kilrea» 

46 Besides these ministers, the depositions in Temple and Borlase sup- 
ply the names of several others who were murdered in Ulster ; such as Mr. 
Middleton of Castle- Balfour, Mr. Morgan Aubrey, Mr. Robison of Cale- 
don, Mr. John Matthew, Mr. Smith and Mr. Birge in the counties of 
Armagh and Tyrone, and Mr. Akin in Donegall. Of the murder of this 
last-mentioned minister, which is referred to both by Temple and Borlase, 
I subjoin an account, from an original deposition, as a sample of the pro- 
ceedings of the Romanists at this unhappy period : — " Mulrony Carroll, 
late of Castledoe, gentleman, deposed that Manns Bane, of Doe, and his 
three sons, banged and murdered Robert Akins, a protestant minister who 
had often relieved and kindly entertained them in his house ; and two of 
his brothers, viz. John and Marcus Akins, in their own barn at Cloude- 
vadock ; alio three women and eight more protestants in Doe : which 
murders were done chiefly by the command of Mulmory MacSwyne, grand- 
child to Sir Mulmory MacSwyne, those septs being the most cruel and 
bloody-minded people of any other in that county of Donegall." HarL 
MSS. apud Muss Brit. No. 5999. 

AO>. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 331 

and three ministers mane, whose names I cannot learn, all 
died in Coleraine ; Mr. Taylor of Carlingfbrd ; Mr. Chesman 
of Moneymore, minister ; Mr. Winter of Astra, [Ardstraw] 
minister ; Mr. Luke Astrie, minister of Bally kelly ; Mr. Far* 
wood, dean of Dromore ; Mr. Edward Stanhope, archdeacon; 
Mr. Baxter died in Castle-Craig [in Fermanagh] ; Mr. Edward 
liivedy ; Mr. Erskine of Fermanagh, who took his sickness 
in Deny, but died in Scotland ; the son of captain John 
Kilmer of Faughanvale, [beside Derry] being a minister* 
died of fatigue and sickness; Mr. Newcome, minister of 
Fawne [near Derry] at Fawne ; Mr. Richard Walker, minis* 
ter of Lifford, at Iiffbrd." <«*> 

While recording the sufferings of the protectant clergy, 
she ease of bishop Bedell must not be omitted. The notices 
of this venerable prelate, already presented to the reader, 
cannot fail to have imparted so much interest to his history, 
as to justify a brief detail of the closing scenes of his useful 
And exemplary life. Although no man had laboured more 
earnestly lor the conversion of the native Irish than he did, 
yet his seal was tempered with so much affection and fbrbeax- 

*7 The above extracts are from a tract entitled, " A New Remonstrance 
from Ireland, &c." It is dated July 24, 1643, and appears to have been 
twice republished ; first, under the title of *' The Levites* Lamentation, 
&c ;" and again, under that of " The Clergie's Lamentation, &c By 
Daniel Harcourt, one of the commissioners for tbe examination of the pro- 
testant grievances in Ulster." Lond. 1644. pp. 23. 4to. Besides specifying 
those who had perished in tbe rebellion, Harcourt gives the names of tbe 
ministers who were held in custody by the rebels ; and also of those who 
were living in the garrison towns in a state of great penury. M I come 
now," he says, " to render an account of such as I left in Carrickfergus, 
Belfast, Newry, Lisnegarvy and the neighbouring parts, in so* unfathomed 
misery as my plum and line is too light and short to express their indigen- 
cies." Out of a large catalogue of these ministers I select the following, 
as their parishes are also given ;— Mr. Wilson of Lame, Mr. Durry of 
Ballymena, Mr. James Tracy of Templepatrick, Mr. Forrest of Done- 
gore, Mr. James Stewart of Garvagh, Mr. David Rowan of Red-bay, 
Mr. John Mitchell of Anaghlone, and Mr. James Mclvin of Downpa- 


ance, that instead of rendering them hostile to him on dial 
account, he secured the respect of even the most bigoted 
Romanists in his diocese. They admired his humility, dis* 
interestedness and hospitality; but the chief ground of their 
attachment to him was his generous and unwearied assiduity 
in reviving and extending the use of their native language, 
ao long proscribed, but so dearly beloved. These services, t» 
the credit of the Irish, were remembered at this critical period. 
" The rebels," observes his biographer, " expressed their 
esteem for him in such a manner that he had reason to ascribe 
it wholly to that over-ruling power that stills the raging of the 
seas, and the tumult of the people ; they seemed to be over* 
come with his exemplary conversation among them, and with 
the tenderness and charity that he had upon all occasions 
expressed for them, and they often said, he should be the 
last Englishman that should be put out of Ireland. He 
the only Englishman in the whole county of Cavan, that 
suffered to live in his own house without disturbance. Not 
only his house and all the out-buildings, but the church and 
church-yard were full of people ; and many that, a few day? 
before, lived in great ease and much plenty, were now glad 
of a heap of straw or hay to lie upon, and of some boiled 
wheat to support nature ; and were every day expecting when 
those swords that had, according to the prophetick phrase, 
' drunk up so much blood/ should likewise be satiated with 
theirs." M 

For eight weeks after the breaking out of the rebellion* 
he and his family were permitted to remain in their house 
in this state of anxiety, but of comparative security. (49) 

4» Burnet's Bedell, p. 140. 

49 During this alarming period, Swiney, the popish bishop of Kilmore, 
wished to be permitted to live in bishop Bedell's bouse, under the pretence 
of protecting him and bis family from violence. But Bedell declined the 
offer in a letter written in Latin, which was the last of that excellent man's 
productions, and which displays Christian meekness, discretion and firmi 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 335 

When more violent measures were resorted to by the Irish 
leaders, they were forced to remove. " On the eighteenth of 
December, the rebels came and seized on him, and on all that 
belonged to him, and carried him and his two sons and Mr* 
Clogy m prisoners to the castle of Lochwater, [Clough* 

of the highest order* I am confident many of my readers will feel grati- 
fied by inserting here, the following translation of it, taken from his ' Life 
by Burnet. 

• M Reverknd Brother* 

" I am sensible of your civility in offering to protect me by your 
presence in the midst of this tumult ; and upon the like occasion I would 
not be wanting to do the like charitable office to you : But there are man/ 
things that hinder me from making use of the favour you now offer me* 
My bouse is strait, and there is a great number of miserable people of all 
ranks, ages, and of both sexes, that have fled hither as to a sanctuary ; be- 
sides that some of them are sick, among whom my own son Ss one. But 
that which is beyond all the rest, is the difference of our way of worship : 
I do not say of our religion, for I have ever thought and published it in 
my writings, that we have one common Christian religion. Under our 
present miseries we comfort ourselves with the reading of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, with daily prayers, which we offer up to God in our vulgar tongue* 
and with the singing of psalms ; and since we find so little truth among 
men, we rely on the truth of God and on his assistance. These things 
would offend your company, if not yourself ; nor could others be hindered, 
who would pretend that they came to see you, if you were among us ; and 
under that colour, those murderers [drcumcelliones] would break in upon 
us, who, after they have robbed us of all that belongs to us, would, in con* 
elusion, think they did God good service by our slaughter. For my own 
part, I am resolved to trust to the divine protection. To a Christian and 
a bishop, that is now almost seventy, no death for the cause of Christ can 
be bitter : On the contrary, nothing is more desirable. And though I ask 
nothing for myself alone, yet, if you will require the people, under an 
anathema, not to do any other acts of violence to those whom they have so 
often beaten, spoiled and stript, it will be both acceptable to God, honour- 
able to yourself, and happy to the people, if they obey you : But if not, 
consider that God will remember all that is now done. To whom, reverend 
brother, I do heartily commend yotu Yours in Christ, 
" November 2d, [11,] 1641. William KilmoreT 

60 Mr. Clogy was a minister, and married to the bishop's step-daughter. 
It ww from 'materials furnished by him, that bishop Burnet compiled his 
' Life of BedelLU-See Life, p. 136, and Preface. 



ovter,] the only place of strength in the whole county. 
They suffered the prisoners to carry nothing with them ; for 
the titular bishop took possession of all that belonged to the 
bishop, and said mass the next Lord's day in the church. 
All but the bishop were at first elapt into irons, for the Irish, 
that were perpetually drunk, were afraid lest they should 
seize both on them and on the castle. Yet it pleased God so 
for to abate their fury, that they took off their irons, and 
gave them no disturbance in the worship of God, which was 
now all the comfort that was left them." After three weeks* 
imprisonment in this wretched tower, situated in the middle 
of a lake, and scarcely sufficient to protect them from die 
inclemency of the weather, an exchange of prisoners was 
effected ; and on the seventh of January, the bishop and his 
family were released. They were not permitted, however, to 
leave the county, but were compelled to reside at the house 
of a protestant minister, who was originally of Irish extrac- 
tion. " Here the bishop spent the few remaining days of 
his pilgrimage, having his latter end so full in view, that he 
seemed dead to the world and every thing in it, and to be 
hasting for the coming of the day of God. During the last 
Sabbaths of his life, though there were three ministers pre- 
sent, he read all the prayers and lessons himself, and preached 
on all those days." (M) 

In the beginning of February he was seized with an ague 
which soon became so violent as to leave no hopes of recovery 
to a frame worn out, " by the sad weight of sorrow that lay 
upon his mind, and his ill usage in his imprisonment."—- 
" As his sickness increased, his speech failed, and he slum* 
beted out most of the time ; only between hands it appeared, 
that he was cheerfully waiting for his change, which at last 
came about midnight, on the seventh of February, that he 
fell asleep in the Lord, and entered into his rest." He had, 
before his death, expressed a desire to be buried beside his 

51 Burnet's Bedell, pp. 156, 7. 160. . 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 335 

wife in the church-yard of Kilmore ; but this privilege could 
be obtained only by an application to the Romish bishop, 
who continued to reside at the episcopal house; To hint, 
therefore, the friends of the deceased prelate immediately ap- 
plied. " They found the bishop lying in his own vomit, 
and saw a sad change in that house which was before a house 
of prayer and of good works ; but was now a den of thieves 
and a nest of uncleanness. The bishop, when he was 
awakened out of his drunkenness, excepted a little to it, and 
said, the church-yard was holy ground, and was no more to 
be defiled with hereticks' bodies : yet he consented to it at 
last. So on the ninth of February, he was buried, according 
to the direction himself had given, next his wife's coffin. 
The Irish did him unusual honours at his burial ; for the 
chief of the rebels gathered their forces together, and with 
them accompanied his body to the church-yard of Kilmore 
in great solemnity. The Irish discharged a volley of shot at 
his interment, and cried out in Latin, ' Requiescat in pace 
ultimus AnglorunV — may the last of the English rest in 
peace ; for they had often said, that as they esteemed him 
the best of the English bishops, so he should be the last that 
should be left among them.'" <**> 

The devastation produced in Ulster by die exterminating 
warfare, carried on between the opposing parties for several 
months, was most deplorable. The northern province was 
the principal scene of rapine and of bloodshed. In the other 
parts of the kingdom, to which the rebellion soon extended, 
the confederated Roman catholics acted with more humanity 
and moderation ; while many of them denounced in strong 

** Burnett Bedell, pp. 168, 9. It is right to add, that owing to the 
humanity of Philip O'Reilly, representative in parliament for Cavan, 
fewer cruelties were perpetrated by the Irish in this county, than in any 
other part of Ulster. Carte, i. 173, 4. I have seen it stated as another 
occurrence at the interment of Bedell, that * Edmund Farilly, a popish 
priest, exclaimed at the same time, O, sit anima mea cum Bedello ! Would 
to God that my soul were with Bedell !' But this fact is not noticed in 
my edition of Burnet, Dub. 1 796. 


terms the barbarous massacre which had almost depopulated 

The number of protestants who perished during the 
early part of the rebellion has been variously estimated. 
While Roman catholic writers have not hesitated to aver, in 
the nice of the most indubitable testimony, that there was no 
massacre, save of their innocent and unoffending party, by 
the vindictive and blood-thirsty protestants ; (W) on the other 
hand, several protestant historians have run into the opposite 
extreme of exaggerating the extent of the slaughter to several 
hundreds of thousands. (54) From the impossibility of preserv- 

83 For the Roman catholic version of the massacre, see Curry's * His- 
torical Review of the Civil wars of Ireland/ pp. 178 — 81 ; and Lingard*8 
* History of England/ x. 154, and note, p. 483. The latter historian 
M omits all mention of the massacre, and endeavours, in a note at the end 
of the volume, to disprove by mere scraps of quotation, an event of such 
notoriety, that we must abandon all faith in public fame if it were really 
unfounded." Hallam's Const Hist ii. 752. Of the former work, Hal- 
lam justly observes, that " the catholics themselves might better leave 
their cause to Carte and Leland, than excite prejudices instead of allaying 
them, by such a tissue of misrepresentation and disingenuousness, as Carry's 
Historical Account of the Civil Wars in Ireland.** According to the testi- 
mony of the Rev. Dr. Maxwell, afterwards bishop of Kilmore, the rebels 
boasted to him, while in their custody, that by the month of March, they 
had slain 154,000 protestants ; and O'Mahony, an Irish Jesuit, in his 
M Disputatio Apologetica," published in 1645, confesses, that his party had 
cut off 150,000 heretics in four years. Harris's Fiction Un masked, 
p. 196. The most curious work on the Romish side of the controversy 
which I have met with, is one published in Philadelphia, so recently as the 
year 1819. I have not seen it referred to by any late writer on this part 
of Irish history, although it discusses at great length, and with an imposing 
air of research, accuracy, and impartiality, all the controverted topics con- 
nected with both the rebellion and the massacre. I allude to " Vindiciae 
Hibernicae, or Ireland vindicated, &c. By M. Carey." Phil. 1819. 8vo. 
pp. 504* I notice it here only on account of its flagrant demerits as a 
work of historical inquiry. It is, in its results, little more than an echo of 
Curry ; but the American, is much more partial and disingenuous than the 
Irish, writer, while his abuse of the protestants is more violent and rancorous. 

54 The following is a brief summary of the calculations of the more 
eminent protestant writers. May (p. 81) estimates the number slain at 
200,000 in the first month. Temple makes it 150,000 in the first two 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 337 

ing any exact details of so promiscuous a massacre, as well as 
from the vagueness of the testimony, and the insufficiency of 
the statistics, on which any calculations could now be founded, 
it is altogether impossible to arrive at a satisfactory conclu- 
sion. The partiality and violence, too, with which the con- 
flicting disputants have discussed the subject, and the con- 
fidence with which they insist upon the most opposite results, 
have tended still more to perplex and obscure it : so that it 
is equally vain and presumptuous, at the present day, to hope, 
by any renewal of the investigation, to discover the exact 
number of protestant sufferers during the first or earliest stage 
of the rebellion. Suffice it to say, that the lowest probable 
computation (55) presents an awful sacrifice of human life, and 

months, or 300,000 in two years. Rapin (ix. 343.) gives 150,000 in about 
four months. Lord Clarendon (L 299.) says, that above 40,000 were 
murdered at the first outbreak before any danger was apprehended ; and he 
is followed by Hume. Sir William Petty, a very expert and accurate cal- 
culator, computes that 37,000 perished within the first year; (Pol. Anat 
p. 313.) and this estimate is adopted by ('arte. I feel quite incompetent 
to add any thing which could enable the reader to decide between these con- 
flicting accounts, except to say that, in my opinion, the first three estimates 
are decided exaggerations. 

55 The * lowest probable computation,' by a protestant writer, is that 
given by the Rev. Dr. Warner, in his " History of the Rebellion and Civil 
War in Ireland," published in the year 1768. After a minute scrutiny, as he 
informs us, of the original depositions preserved in thirty-two folio volumes, 
in the library of Trinity college, Dublin, an authentic copy of a part of 
which was in bis own possession, and after assuring us that * it is easy 
enough to demonstrate the falsehood of the relation of every protestant 
historian of this rebellion,' who bad written before himself, he comes to 
the conclusion that the number of protestants who lost their lives in the 
first two years of the rebellion, * out of war,' could not have been more 
than 12,000, and of these, he calculates that 4000 were murdered. In stat- 
ing the grounds of his computation, he makes the following observation, 
which has thrown considerable discredit on the authenticity of the deposi- 
tions above referred to : — ' There is one circumstance in these books, not 
taken notice of as I perceived by any body before me, that though all the 
examinations signed by the commissioners are said to be upon oath, yet in 
infinitely the greater number of them, the words " being duly sworn," 
have the pen drawn through them, with the same ink with which the ex- 

VOL. I. Z 


a fearful proof of the implacable spirit of the Romish frith in 
those days of ignorance and bigotry. 

After these lengthened details of the progress and extent 
of this memorable rebellion, during its earlier stage, it is 

anunatknc are written ; and in several of those where such words 
many parts of the examinations are crossed oat. This is a drcamstance 
which shows, that the bulk of this immense coBectioo is parole evidence, 
and upon report af common fame.' Hist. ii. 7. Entertaining some 
doubts of the accuracy of this sweeping assertion, I consulted the * hooks* 
of depositions in the college library ; and, assisted by a friend, examined a 
good many of the volumes, time not permitting me to go over the whole* 
with the view of determining this point, which was readily done by refer- 
ring to the beginning of each deposition ; but we could not find a single 
one in which the words M being duly sworn," were crossed with the pen, or 
otherwise obliterated. It is probable some such cases do occur ; but to 
ate it, as Warner has done, that they occur ' in infinitely the greater nam- 
her of them,' is a very incorrect and exaggerated statement. It is also to 
be remarked, that Warner's computation is founded, not on the depositions 
whose authority he thus rashly impugned, but upon a copy of a part of them 
in his own possession, all of which were 'duly sworn,* and authenticated 
by the signatures of the commissioners. A duplicate of this copy, he 
states, was deposited among the manuscripts in the British Museum. This 
rolume I found out, and carefully examined. It is No. 5999, vol. iii. of 
the Harieian MSS. It is marked, " Original. Rectictd at the Board, 10m 
November, 1643;" and corresponds with the description given by Warner 
of his own copy. But I found it to contain only ' extracts * from no more 
than about two hundred depositions. Among these, there are only four 
from the county of Down, all relating to one occurrence ; four from Ty- 
rone ; three from Donegal], two of which refer to one occurrence ; three 
from Derry ; and not a single deposition relating to Antrim. It is quite 
impossible, therefore, that a correct enumeration of the number who per- 
ished, could be formed from any examination, however minute, of these 
extracts. They could furnish the inquirer with only a portion of the mur- 
ders perpetrated, the full catalogue of which was not completed till tea 
years afterwards, when the republican authorities renewed the inquiry, by 
appointing commissioners for the purpose. These commissioners took a 
vast number of additional and most important depositions ; and they bound 
over the several deponents to appear at the subsequent assizes for each coun- 
ty, in order to prosecute such of the more noted of the murderers as could 
then be found, — a circumstance which renders these depositions, taken with 
the view of being afterwards repeated on a public trial for a capital offence, 
and at a time when party-feeling had in a great measure subsided, of more 
value than the depositions contained in the Harieian and Warner's MS. 

A.9. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 339 

scarcely necessary to add, that the presbyterian interest in 
Ulster was thereby almost entirely destroyed. Protestant 
prelates had commenced the work by compelling the greater 
part of the presbyterians to flee to Scotland. But what ap- 
peared to be the ruin, proved to be the preservation of the 
ehurch ; while they who had been the foremost to persecute, 
were the first to suffer. For, on the bishops and other digni- 
fied clergy, the Roman catholics early vented their rage and 
indignation ; and while the Scots were, in the first instance, 
spared, their episcopal persecutors were, in their turn, compel- 
led to abandon their properties, and fly for refuge to England. 
As a body, the presbyterians suffered less by the ravages 
of the rebellion than any other class. The more influen- 
tial of their ministers, and the principal part of their gentry, 
had previously retired to Scotland to escape the tyranny of 
Strafford and the severities of the bishops, and were thus pro* 
videntially preserved. Those who remained in the country, 
were at first unmolested by the Irish, in conformity with the 
royal commission. This temporary preservation gave them time 
to procure arms, and to take other necessary measures to protect 
themselves against the storm which they saw approaching. 
When the rebels, therefore, abandoned their professed neu- 
trality, and fell upon them, as furiously as upon the English, 
they were prepared for the attack. Where they associated to- 

which were taken privately, at the very hottest period of the rebellion, and 
without any view of being subjected to the ordeiil of examination on a 
public trial. The greater part of the thirty-two volumes in Trinity col- 
lege, is composed of these valuable supplementary depositions. I pemsed 
with some care, the entire volume marked ' Co. Antrim ;' and all the de- 
positions contained in it, relative to the rebellion, were taken before the 
parliamentary commissioners in 1653; by whom too, let it be observed, — 
a fact not generally known, — the retaliatory murders alleged to have been 
committed by the protectants on the Irish, at Island Magee and other 
places, are as closely and impartially investigated as the original massacres 
by the Roman catholics. The latter were pretty extensive in this populous 
protestant county ; yet not one of them is included in Warner's compu- 
tation ; which, it is therefore quite evident, must be considered as falling 
short of the truth ; but how far short, I am not qualified to give an opinion. 


their gnod, sad utqsttiitxy repulsed the 
wish loss. BctvAeii,tiustrogtothepndw wioni of their Irish 
neighbours, they reined their vigilance and < milium* 
armed, they seldom failed to safer the penalty of their 
placed confidence. One ■—*-■«— mar after fi» prove the 
troth of dm oh aeiiaiiuu . Mr. Robert Scmrt of the Irrr, 
near StewaTtstown, in the county of Tyrone, a relatroe of the 
C as tleate w art (amOr, aad maiii c d to the grand-daughter of 
the outlawed earl of Tyrone, had, on the first alarm of the 
leheffion, collected and armed about six hundred Scots. With 
tlnsiorce, he could easflr have defended the whole of the 
rounding country. Being assured, however, by his lnsn 
latives, that none of the Scots should sufer any molestation, 
he was induced, in a few days, to dismiss his followers, and 
take back their arms. But the very night on which they 
reached their homes, the greater number of them were mur- 
dered by their perfidious enemies. 139 

The presbyterians who were preserred amidst the surround- 
ing carnage and devastation, were in a great measure destitute 
of the public ordinances of religion. The clergy had been mur- 
dered, or had fled to the towns for safety ; and the churches 
which had not been seized by the Roman catholics, were garri- 
soned, and converted into places of refuge. But neither the re- 
straints to which they were subjected under the bishops, nor 
their present destitution, had weakened their attachment to 
their church. They maintained their religious principles as 
firmly and successfully as they did their lives and properties; 
until the arrival of succours from Scotland, and the return of 
their banished brethren after peace had been restored, enabled 
them to revive their church in Ulster, under more favourable 
circumstances than at its first plantation. 

* Cox, ii. 08. Cox makes a alight mistake in the name of Mr. Stewart, 
calling him William. That Robert was his name, is evident from Lodge, 
vi. 256. 

AJ>. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 341 


Proceedings of the lord* justices— The king sends commissions to the pro- 
testant leaders in Ulster — O'Neill reduces Lurgan — His unsuccessful attack 
upon Lisburn — Is defeated in Tyrone by Sir William and Sir Robert 
Stewart— Their services in Donegal— State of Derry— English and Scot- 

- Hsh parliaments negotiate for the relief of Ireland — Arrival of Scottish forces 
under Monro— They march to Newry — and Armagh — Return to Carrick- 
fergus — Letter to Monro from Derry— Movements of the Lagan forces- 
Conduct of the earl of Antrim — Is taken prisoner by Monro — Proceedings 
in Armagh — and on Lough Neagh — Peace restored — State of the church 
in Ulster— Revival of presbytery— Army chaplains — First Presbytery meets 
— Its proceedings— Congregations erected by it — First petition to the Gens' 
ral Assembly in Scotland— Assembly's reply'— 'Ministers appointed to visit 

The lords justices, having taken the necessary steps for the se- 
curity of the metropolis, immediately despatched intelligence 
of the rebellion, both to the king at Edinburgh, and to the 
houses of parliament in London. They also sent commis- 
sions by sea to Ulster, the communication by land being in- 
terrupted by the rebels, empowering captain Arthur Chiches- 
ter and Sir Arthur Tyringham to take the command of all 
the forces in the county of Antrim ; and urging the lords 
Chichester, Claneboy and Aids, with several knights and 
gentlemen, to use their best efforts for the suppression of the 
rebellion. (1) 

These despatches were followed by others from the king at 

Edinburgh, received on the seventh of November, assuring 

1 Carte, i. 187. 


the northern protestants of speedy and efficient support. 
Shortly after, he forwarded commissions, dated the sixteenth 
of the same month, to the lord of Ards and Sir James Mont- 
gomery in the county of Down, and to Sir William and Sir 
Robert Stewart in the counties of Deny and Donegall, autho- 
rising each of them to raise a regiment of one thousand foot 
and a troop of horse. Sir William Cole of Enniskillen, and 
Sir Ralph Gore of Magherabeg in Donegall, also received 
commissions to raise five hundred men each for the defence 
of the kingdom. In the following month the English par- 
liament ordered two more regiments to be raised, and placed 
them under the command of lord Conway and Sir John Clot- 
worthy. For the purpose of accelerating the levy and taking 
the command of his regiment, Sir John returned to Antrim 
In the end of the year, and shared with his countrymen in 
the subsequent perils and fatigues of the war. These forces, 
however, were in great want of arms. The lords justices had 
sent four hundred muskets, with a due proportion of ammu- 
nition, to the lords Claneboy and Ards; (2) but this supply 
was insufficient, as the former nobleman soon after sent to 
Scotland, to purchase an additional quantity of arms. (3) The 
lord Chichester also, with his son captain Arthur Chichester, 
Sir Arthur Tyringham and captain Arthur Hill, despatched 
Mr. Edmonstone of Broadisland to Edinburgh, who purchas- 
ed a supply of muskets, swords and pikes for the newly raised 
regiments. (4> Assisted by these seasonable supplies, and en- 
couraged by these promises of succour, the protestant leaders 

3 Borlase, 23. Temple, 91 . 

3 MSS. Gen. Reg. House, Edinb. This application was inude, Jan. 
21, 1642. by " Robert Tweedie, servitor to the Lord Claneboy." 

4 For the gratification of the curious in these matters, I have inserted, 
in the Appendix, an extract from the state records of Scotland, deposited 
in the Register Office, Edinburgh, containing the minute of the com- 
mittee of estates for the delivery of the arms required ; and reciting the 
power of attorney granted, on that occasion, to Mr. Edmonstone by lord 
Claneboy and the other applicants. See Appendix, No. III. 


in Ulster were soon enabled to repel the incursions of the 

Meanwhile Sir Phelim O'Neill succeeded in reducing the 
town and castle of Lurgan, which he had for some time closely 
besieged. In consequence of the supply of arms and ammu- 
nition which Sir William Brownlow had received, he had 
gallantly resisted the assaults of the insurgents for above a 
fortnight. At length, on the fifteenth of November, he ca- 
pitulated, on condition of being permitted to retire with his 
family and property unmolested. But though these terms 
were agreed to by the besiegers, yet the moment possession 
was obtained of the castle, they were flagrantly violated. Sir 
William, his lady and children were cast into prison ; his 
house was rifled; his servants were stripped and plundered, and 
many of them inhumanly butchered ; while the inhabitants 
of the town were treated with similar unprovoked cruelty. (5) 

Encouraged by the reduction of this post, O'Neill short- 
ly after renewed his attempt upon Lisburn, the occupa- 
tion of which was indispensable to the success of his de- 
signs against Belfast and Carrickfergus — two important posts 
which he was most anxious to possess. Accordingly, on Sun- 
day the twenty-eighth of November, at the head of four thou- 
sand men, and assisted by Sir Con Magennis and major- 
general Plunket, he made a furious assault upon Lisburn. 
His forces succeeded in setting fire to the town ; but they 
were ultimately repulsed, with considerable loss, by the steady 
courage of the protestant soldiery and inhabitants, under the 
command of Sir Arthur Tyringham and Sir George Rawdon 
of Moira. Towards the close of the contest, which was pro- 
longed till night, they were assisted by a seasonable reinforce- 
ment of horse and foot from Belfast under the command of 
captain Boyd, who " was unhappily slain after his first en- 
trance into the town."" (6) This spirited and successful defence 
deterred O^Neill from attempting any further inroads on the 

5 Carte, i. 188. 6 Carte, i. 189. Hist. Coll. of Belfast, p. 2a 


protestants in this quarter. He soon after led his insurgent 
troops to the north-western parts of the province, which he 
hoped to find less efficiently protected. 

In this expectation he was happily disappointed. His suc- 
cess in those parts was confined to the capture of a few places 
of little importance. In the beginning of December he suc- 
ceeded in taking the town of Strabane, which he plundered 
and burned. He also obtained possession of the castle which 
had been held by the relict of Claude, first lord Strabane. 
Here he remained with his forces for several weeks, making 
occasional incursions through the adjoining country ; but be- 
coming enamoured of his fair captive, the lady Strabane, he 
carried her with him to his castle in Tyrone, where they 
were afterwards married. (7) Besides the taking of this town 
and castle, he obtained no other advantage in that part of the 

For, shortly after the breaking out of the rebellion, Sir 
William and Sir Robert Stewart, acting upon the commis- 
sions received from the king, had embodied about a thousand 
men in the counties of Donegall and Tyrone, who were after- 
wards known by the name of the " Lagan forces."* 8 * With 
this body they were enabled not only to hold the insurgents 
in check, but to succour several towns and castles which were 
closely besieged, and in danger of falling into the hands of 
the enemy. Though unable to protect Strabane, they garri- 
soned the castles of Newtonstewart and Omagh; both of 
which were seasonable asylums for the plundered and de- 
fenceless protestants of Tyrone. To the former of these places, 
the inhabitants of the barony of Dungannon repaired in a 
body, under the command of Sir Thomas Staples and colo- 

7 Sir Phelim said to lady Strabane, as lie carried her off, that ' be would 
never leave off the work be bad begun, until mass should be sung or said 
in every church in Ireland ; and that a protestant should not live in Ire- 
land, be he of what nation he would.' Lodge, v. 1 14. 

8 The * Lagan ' is the name of a large district in the county of Done- 
gall, lying between the Foyle and the Swilly. 

AJ>. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 345 

nel Saunderson. " They marched forth of that barony to 
Newton, nigh twenty miles through the barbarous mountains 
of Munterlony, one of the greatest fastnesses of Ireland, to 
join Sir William Stewart's forces there, where they were joy- 
fully entertained."* 9 ' The castle of Augher in Tyrone was 
held by the Rev. Archibald Areskine, son and heir to Sir 
James Areskine, assisted by a company of soldiers, and by 
Archibald Hamilton, Esquire, and his tenants, who, at the 
first alarm of the rebellion, had fled thither for protection. 
The rebels, to the amount of two thousand, having burned 
the small town of Augher, laid close siege to the castle for a 
considerable time, but were repulsed in all their attempts to 
take it, and ultimately compelled by Sir William Stewart to 
abandon the siege. Irritated at the gallant defence of this 
post, Sir Phelim O'Neill, in conjunction with colonel Rory 
Maguire of Fermanagh, marched against it, and again in- 
vested the castle with nearly four thousand men. '< They 
planted a small field-piece to batter ; and in a dark night 
stormed the gate and bawn upon all parts. Yet by the re- 
solution of Master Areskine, and the ready fire of Sir Henry 
Tichborne's old company, they beat them from their walls 
and scaling-ladders with the loss of two hundred men." 

Sir William Stewart, apprized of this renewed and more for- 
midable attack, despatched colonel Saunderson, major James 
Galbraith and captain Audley Mervyn from Newton, with 
all his disposable force, to the relief of Augher. The rebels, 
being once more compelled by the approach of this body to 
raise the siege, next invested Castle Derg in the same coun- 
ty ; from which also they were repulsed by Sir Robert Stew- 
art, who " thence marched over against Glen fin, — burnt that 

9 See "An Exact Relation of all such occurrences as have happened in the 
several counties of Donegal], Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh, in the 
north of Ireland, since the beginning of this horrid, bloody and unparalleled 
rebellion there begun in October last. Presented to the House of Com- 
mons in England by Colonel Audley Mervyn, June 4, 161*2." Loud. 
1642. 4 to. pp. 14. 


country and killed divers, — afterwards fell over in the night 
upon the rebels 1 quarters above Strabane, and killed above 
eighty men." (10) 

Meanwhile Sir William Stewart, with another portion of 
the Lagan forces, proceeded into the barony of Kilmacrenan 
in Donegall, where the rebels had early taken possession of 
the castles upon his estate, plundered his towns, and scattered 
the protectant inhabitants. " Captain Maxwell and captain 
George Stewart marched towards Ramelton with one hundred 
and fifty men, and killed ninety of the rebels, and brought 
home eighteen hundred cows. Captain Basill, about the 
same time, being New- Year's day, marched over into the 
enemy's country with sixty men, and encountered four hun- 
dred men and killed thirty-**.* They regained pooeadon 
of Ramelton and the castle there; and, supported by the 
neighbouring garrison of Deny, they effectually checked the 
further incursions of the Romanists in that quarter. 

The city of Derry was securely placed under the command 
of the governor, Sir John Vaughan, knt. So early as the 
fourth of November, the lords justices issued a commission 
to alderman Henry Finch, to raise a company of foot for the 
defence of the city. Not long afterwards, captain Lawson, 
having received intelligence that one of his vessels, freighted 
with butter for France, had been detained at Derry, obtained 
permission from Sir Arthur Tyringham to place his newly- 
raised regiment at Lisburn, under the charge of his two 
lieutenants, Clugston and Hanna, and of his quarter-master 
Stewart ; and having considerable property embarked in trade 
at this critical period, he proceeded to Derry to attend to his 
mercantile concerns. He found the cargo of his ship had been 
laid up for the use of the inhabitants, then apprehensive of 
being besieged by the rebels ; and that the vessel itself was 
44 employed to carry away into Scotland about five hundred 
poor souls which would have perished, if that occasion had 

10 Mervyn's Exact Relation, &c. 

A.D. 1641. CHUIICH IN IRELAND. * 317 

not offered ; no other shipping being there resident for the 
space of six months before." < u> Having obtained another com- 
mission to raise a company for the defence of the town, Mr. 
Lawson remained at Deny, where the principal part of his 
property lay. His brother-in-law, alderman Henry Osborne, 
and several other gentlemen, were also commissioned to raise 
soldiers, so that the city was soon fully garrisoned with seven 
companies of foot, commanded by the following captains :— 
Robert Thornton, who was also mayor, Simon Pitt, Henry 
Finch, Henry Osborne, John Kilmer, Robert Lawson, and 
Hewit Finch, whose company was subsequently placed under 
the command of the governor's son, captain Henry Vaughan. 
These commanders took prompt and efficient measures for 
the defence of this important post. They entered into a mu- 
tual ' league' or agreement for ' the keeping thereof, and 
the country adjoining.' <12) They repaired the gates and 

11 Lawson's " True Relation," &c 

12 As no history of this * maiden city,' so full of interest to the northern 
protestant, has yet appeared, I am tempted to lay before the reader, 
throughout this work, ampler gleanings respecting its early state than I 
might otherwise have done. I accordingly subjoin a copy of the ' League,* 
noticed in the text, taken from a very rare and curious pamphlet, entitled, 
" A true copy of a letter sent from Doe Castle, in Ireland, from an Irish 
rebel, to Dunkirke," &c. Lond. 1643. 4to, pp. 5. 

" The League of the captains of Londonderry for the keeping thereof, 
and country adjoining. 

" 1. It is concluded by us, whose names are subscribed, that we will, from 
this time forward, stand together for the safe keeping of this city of 
Londonderry and country adjoining, and be helpful in all things concerning 
the same. 2. It is agreed, that on the morrow morning, we will all join 
together, with a competent number of our men, to expel all such Irish out 
of the city, as we shall conceive to be needful for the safety of this city. 
3. That after this is done, that a proclamation be made, that no man or 
woman so expelled the city shall, upon pain of death, return into this city, 
or make their abode within two miles of the same. 4. That the morrow 
morning we take the advice of Sir John Vaughan, and captain Henry 
Vaughan ; that we survey the suburbs of this city, and conclude what 
houses arc to be pulled down, and what gardens and orchards to be cut for 
annoying the enemy's approach, and that the same be speedily put in exe- 
cution. 5. That forty men be spared every watch-night to guard tltc 


ramparts, and erected temporary houses of wood within the 
walls for the accommodation of the soldiery, who were prin- 
cipally landholders from the surrounding districts. (13> They 

ordnance and the gates the next day, that twenty men of the main guard, 
and twenty men of the bye guard, out of the two hundred watches every 
night. 6. It is thought fit all our companies be drawn forth into the fields, 
and that the captains and officers shall take a voluntary oath to be true to 
the king and state, and to keep the city to the expense of his life, and to 
leave it to the rest of the companies to do the like if they pleased. 

*' The division of the walls for each captain's quarter to make good. 

44 7. Captain Pitts to make good the king's bulwark to the Ferrigate. 
8. Captain Thornton from the Ferrigate to master Wabion's bulwark ; and 
they two to make good the Ferrigate. 9. Captain Kilmer from Master 
Wabion's bulwark to Chichester's bulwark, and make good the Ship- 
key-gate. 10. Captain Finch from the end of Chichester bulwark to the 
Butcbersgate. 11. Captain Osborne from the end of Chichester bulwark 
to the Butchersgate. 12. Captain Lawson to make good the Prince's 
bulwark, and the Bishopsgate to the King's bulwark. 13. Whoever hath 
the town-guard, captain Lawson is to make good his quarter, and the 
captain of the town's guard to make good captain Lawson's quarter. 14. 
Sir John Vaughan and Sir Robert Stewart to make good the main-guard, 
and all the inhabitants or residents within the said city, not under the cap- 
tain's commands, to repair to the main-guard, for the better strengthening 
thereof, and issuing of supplies as occasion shall require. 15. All women 
and children to keep within doors, and hang out lights in their several 
houses. 16. Every captain to allow so many men to the cannoneers as 
shall be requisite, and to give them their names the morrow morning. 17. 
Every captain to take the oversight of his own quarter, for the repairing of 
the defects of their several quarters, or other fortifications, with the gabions 
for the cannoneers, which is to be done at the general charge. 

" The names of the captains, — Robert Thornton, Simon Pitt, Henry- 
Finch, Henry Osborne, John Kilmer, Robert Lawson, Hew Finch. 

" Since, the honourable city of London hath sent us fifteen pieces of 
ordnance, and four we had before, in all nineteen pieces, for which, amongst 
other their goodness towards us, we pray the Lord reward them, and pre- 
serve them, and continue his mercy with them, and direct his judgments in 
these evil times from them, that it may still continue a city flowing with 
plenty for ever." 

13 In captain Lawson's " True Relation," it is certified, on his behalf, 
that be " hath issued and delivered out about 4000 deal-boards to make 
several houses, with timber, planks and nails, to receive the soldiers, their 
wives und children in the dead of winter, most of them having been men 
of good ability and householders ; neither hath he been wanting on his part 

A.D. 1641. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 349 

sent intelligence of their situation to the king in Scotland ; to 
their landlords, the corporation of the city of London, who 
sent them several pieces of ordnance ; and also to the lords 
justices at Dublin, who despatched thirty barrels of powder 
and a supply of arms, which reached the city in the begin- 
ning of December. (14) Assisted by these seasonable supplies, 
they held possession of Deny ; but, though unmolested by 
the enemy, the inhabitants and soldiers, during the winter 
season, suffered many severe privations. 

The eyes of the whole empire were now intently directed 
to the progress of these events in Ulster. So soon as the 
Scottish parliament were informed by Charles, on Thursday 
the twenty-eighth of October, of the breaking out of the re- 
bellion, they ordered immediate inquiry to be made into the 
quantity of shipping on the western coast, and the number of 
disposable men who could be transported to Ulster. When 
more accurate intelligence was received, on the first of No- 
vember, of the extent of the insurrection and the dangerous 
situation of the northern protestants, they offered a supply of 
three thousand stand of arms, and ten thousand men for the 

for and towards the repairing of the decayed walls, gates, and ramparts of 
the city, and doing other necessary works there, and hath begun a trench 
without the walls of the city of good consequence, intended to be perfected ; 
for all which be cannot have expended less than L.5000 sterling.** 

14 The manner in which this intelligence of the state of Deny was con- 
veyed to Dublin, and the relief sent thither, are thus stated by captain 
Lawson : — " Having a ship come into Carrickfergus, at the first of the re- 
bellion, which was laden with eighty-five tuns of salmon for the accompt 
of him, [captain Lawson,] captain Finch, and captain Osborne, with other 
goods from Deny and bound for France, he caused the same to transport 
from thence to Dublin, Sir Thomas Lucas, and captain Charles Boulton, 
where being landed, and the ship intending forwards to France, was pre- 
sently after cast away, worth L.2000 sterling, occasioned by the same. 
And by that conveyance, captain Boulton getting to Dublin, shortly after- 
wards brought back from thence to Londonderry thirty barrels of powder, 
with other arms and munition, being the first relief and supply which came 
thither for the supplies of the regiments and soldiers there, without which 
they had been utterly lost and perished, as being destitute before of any 
powder or arms." 


relief of Ireland. (15) But as their own resources were insuf- 
ficient for raising and supporting such an army, and as 
Ireland was a dependency pf England, it was obviously neces- 
sary that the authorities of the latter kingdom should not 
only previously give their sanction to the introduction of 
Scottish forces into that part of their realm, but should also 
engage to support them, when employed in their service. 

A negoclation to this effect was accordingly opened with the 
English parliament, on the return of Charles to London, in 
the latter end of November. The commons had already, on the 
first of that month, when O'Connolly communicated to them 
the intelligence of the rebellion, voted a liberal supply of 
money, and a considerable levy of men, for the relief of Ire- 
land. (16) When they received fuller information of the dan- 
gerous state of the kingdom, they voted, ten days afterwards, 
a much larger supply ; and, at the same time, they agreed 
to negociate with the Scottish parliament for the proposed 
aid of ten thousand men. On the tenth of December, the 
first conference on this subject tjook place in London, between 
a committee from the two houses of parliament on the one 
hand, and commissioners sent up from Scotland, on the other. 

15 The entry on the journals of the Scottish parliament, relative to this 
offer, is as follows : — The committee reported to the house, " That they 
had found it expedient, bow soon ever the parliament of England should 
approve the conveniency of their aid and assistance in this business, that 
eight regiments of foot should, with all diligence, be levied, consisting of 
10,000 men, whereof 2500 to be highland men, and 7500 to be levied out 
of the lowland shires, with ammunition to them. They made report like- 
wise, that they could supply their brethren in Ireland with arms out of the 
common magazine for 3000 men, two part muskets, and the third part 
pikes : England giving assurance for redelivery and payment of the same.** 
Balfour, iii. 134. 

16 The state of the distressed protestants in Ireland very soon excited 
the commiseration of the English ; as appears from a discourse, which 
I have met with, entitled, '• Ireland's Advocate, or a Sermon preached 
upon November 1 4th, 1641, to promote the contributions by way of lend- 
ing, for the present relief of the protestant party in Ireland. In the parish 
church of St. Stephens, Coleman Street, London, by the pastor there.'* 
Lond. 1C41. Pp. OG. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 351 

But the jealousies which existed between Charles and the 
commons, and which were now rapidly ripening into an open 
rupture, unhappily retarded the issue of this negociation. 
The king, in the first instance, wished to cast upon the par- 
liament the whole weight of conducting the affairs of Ireland 
at this critical period ; with the view of drawing off their at- 
tention from his proceedings at home, and enfeebling their 
growing opposition to his arbitrary measures. (17) He was, 
therefore, secretly averse to .the employment of any Scottish 
auxiliaries. The commons, on their part, were afraid of weak- 
ening the resources, necessary for the conflict which they saw 
approaching between them and their sovereign, by granting 
too liberal a supply for the reduction of the Irish rebels. 
They were also afraid— and subsequent events proved the 
justness of their apprehensions — that the premature pacifica- 
tion of Ireland would afford Charles, in the coming hour of 
need, a reinforcement of troops from that country, hostile to 
the cause of truth and freedom. Charles, on the other hand, 
taking advantage of their apparent indifference to the fate of 
Ireland, suddenly changed his policy, and proposed to raise 
a body of ten thousand volunteers, and to go over in person 
to chastise the rebels. But the parliament utterly refused to 
listen to a proposal, the effect of which would have been, to 
place the king at the head of a force entirely subject to his 
authority alone, and ready to be employed, at a moment's 
warning, against themselves. 

This offer of Charles, however, quickened the parliament 
in their negociation with the Scottish commissioners. After 
several ineffectual attempts on the part of the house of lords, 
where the royal influence was predominant, to retard its suc- 
cessful issue, the terms upon which the Scots offered their 
aid were agreed to, on the twenty-fourth of January. When 
these proposals were, two days afterwards, submitted to the 
king, he objected to the third article, by which it was stipu- 

>7 Laing, i. 224. 


lated that the Scottish forces were to be put in possession of 
the castle of Carrickfergus. At length, however, he reluc- 
tantly acquiesced ; and on the eighth of February he finally 
issued his commission for their transportation to Ulster. (1 * 
Two thousand five hundred men were, in the first instance, 
to be embodied and sent forward to occupy Carrickfergus ; 
and the remainder of the stipulated supply of ten thousand 
were to follow, at their earliest convenience ; and on their ar- 
rival, to be put in possession of the town and castle of Cole- 
raine. (19) 

Though great exertions were made to raise and embody 
these forces with despatch, it was the middle of March before 
they had reached the appointed rendezvous on the western 
coast of Scotland. Detachments from seven regiments, viz. 
Glencairns, Argyle's, Eglinton's, Sinclair's, Home's for- 
merly Cochrane^, Monro's and Lindsay's, formed this first 
draft of two thousand five hundred men, under the command 
of major-general Robert Monro, — an officer of considerable 
experience and great military skill. They lay, for more than 
a fortnight, in the towns of Irvine, Ayr and Kilmarnock, 
waiting for a favourable wind. In the beginning of the fol- 
lowing month they put to sea, under convoy of an English 
frigate; but were soon after driven into Lamlash, in the 
island of Arran. After being detained another fortnight in 
this secluded harbour, they again set sail on the evening of 
the fourteenth of April. The following day, they reached 
Carrickfergus ; and before night were securely established in 
the possession of the town and castle. The regiments of 
lords Conway and Chichester, who previously formed the 
garrison, having surrendered their quarters, marched to Bel- 
fast ; and, with the other British regiments in Ulster, placed 
themselves under the command of Monro, agreeably to the 
terms of the treaty with the English parliament. 

The Scottish general did not long remain inactive. Leav- 

18 Rymer, vol. ix. part iij. p. 8.3. 
w Rush worth, iv. 501-2. 

. A.D. 164ft- CHURCH IN IRELAND. 353 

ing a garrison of eight hundred men in Carrickfergus, upon 
the twenty-seventh of April he marched with the remainder 
to 'Belfast, where he was joined by the regiments of lords 
Conway and Chichester. On the following day, he formed 
a junction at Lisburn with the forces from the county of 
Down under the command of the lords Claneboy and Ards. 
Monro had now at his disposal, an effective body of, at least, 
three thousand five hundred men, and eight troops of horse. 
With the one-half of this force he proceeded to attack the 
rebels in the woods • of Kilwarlin ; where, under the command 
of Magerinls the lord Iveagh, and to the number of near three 
thousand, they occupied an important pass on the road to 
'Newry. After a short skirmish, the rebels were put to flight ; 
land the British, following the example which the Irish had 
too often set in previous encounters, — of refusing quarter, 
cruelly and unjustifiably put to death all who fell into their 
hands. <90) On Saturday, the thirtieth of April, both divi- 
sions of the army met at this pass ; and having defeated 
another body of the rebels at Loughbrickland, they marched 
to Newry, which had been in possession of the Irish above 
half-a-year. The town, being imperfectly fortified, was im- 
mediately taken by Monro ; and, with the exception of a few 
houses, given up to plunder. The castle held out for two 
days ; but on the third of May it was surrendered to the 
British. The garrison were treated with shocking severity, 
— they were immediately put to death ; and many of the in- 
habitants, who had fled for refuge to the castle, and some 
women, (21) lost their lives in this indiscriminate slaughter. 

*> Livingston, who, as one of the chaplains to the Scottish army, was 
present at this skirmish, gives us the following curious piece of informa- 
tion, respecting the rebels who were killed : — " They were so fat, that one 
might have bid their fingers in the lirks of their breasts. " Life, p. 37. 

** The Irish women were so obnoxious to the English and Scots, on 
account of their well known cruelties to the protestants, who fell into the 
hands of 'the rebels in the beginning of the insurrection, that the soldiery 
could scarcely be refrained from cutting them off whenever they met with 
them. This was the case at Newry. An eye-witness relates that the 
VOL. I. 2 A 


These severities, though amply merited, and designed to 
strike terror into the insurgents, were as impolitic, as they 
were disgraceful and unjustifiable. For, by this means, the 
rebels were inflamed to greater fury against those who were 
yet in their power, while too good ground was afforded 
to their partisans to reprobate the cruelty of the protectant 

After resting his troops at Newry for two days, Monro 
left the detachment of lord Sinclair's regiment, which had 
come from Scotland, with an additional force of two hundred 
men, in command of the town and castle. This garrison he 
placed under the command of lieutenant-colonel Sinclair, and 
of major, afterwards the well-known Sir James Turner, who 
became so notorious, during the subsequent reign, as the bar- 
barous persecutor of his presbyterian countrymen in the south 
of Scotland. On Friday, the sixth of May, Monro marched 
to Armagh, hoping to take Sir Phelim O'Neill by surprise. 

soldiers there, without any authority from Monro or their officers, took 
" some eighteen of the Irish women of the town, and stript them naked* 
and threw them into the river, and drowned them, shooting some in the 
water. More had suffered, but that some of the common soldiers were 
made examples on and punished." Taken from a small tract of only seven 
pages, bearing the following lengthy title, which, however, serves as an 
index to its contents : " A true Relation of the proceedings of the Scott 
and English forces in the North of Ireland, sent in a letter to Mr. Tobias 
Sedgwicke, living in London, relating these particulars, viz. 1. Their 
meeting at Drumbo in the county of Antrim ; 2. The manner of their 
march towards the Newry, with the taking of a fort near Kilwarlin Woods ; 
3. The taking of the town and castle of the Newry, and the releasing of 
divers prisoners of note ; 4. The great spoil they took in those parts, with 
great terror to the rebels, and their flight from those parts ; 5. Divers 
skirmishes with the rebels in M'Cartan's Woods ; 6. The desires of the 
earl of Antrim to be received into the English army. With divers other 
things worthy your observation." The letter or tract is signed, Roger 
Pike ; and is dated from Carrickfergus, May 30th, 1642. The statement 
of this writer, given above, I find corroborated, though in a somewhat ex- 
aggerated strain, by Sir James Turner, in his valuable " Memoirs,** lately 
published. But Turner, writing from memory above forty years after the 
event, cannot be expected to be so accurate as Pike, who wrote within a 
few days of it. 

A.D. 1648. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 355 

But the latter having notice of his approach, and being ex- 
asperated at the loss of Newry, set fire to this ancient city, 
not sparing even the venerable cathedral, though dedicated 
to the patron-saint of Ireland ; and having murdered a vast 
number of protestants, partly inhabitants of Armagh and 
partly prisoners, he retired to the strong fort of Gharlcmont, 
and the greater part of his troops betook themselves to the 
fastnesses of the bogs and mountains of Tyrone. 

From Armagh, the British and Scottish forces returned to 
Carrickfergus, where they arrived on the twelfth of May. On 
their march, during the night of Sunday, the eighth of the 
month, they encountered a storm of unusual severity at that 
season of the year, as they lay encamped in the open country. 
Its extraordinary violence is thus described by Turner. " I 
do remember that there we suffered one of the most stormy 
and tempestuous nights for hail, rain, cold and excessive wind, 
though it was the beginning of May, that ever I yet saw. 
All the tents were in a trice blown over. It was not possible 
for any match to keep fire, or any soldier to handle his mus- 
ket, or yet to stand ; yea, severals of them died that night of 
mere cold. So that if the rebels, whereof there were five hun- 
dred not far from us, had offered to beat up our quarters with 
such weapons as they had, which were half-pikes, swords, and 
daggers which they call skeens, they would undoubtedly have 
had a cheap market of us."* 8 ** This officer was returning 
with Monro to Carrickfergus, for the purpose of conducting 
to NeWTy a reinforcement for his regiment, which had just 
arrived from Scotland. His proceedings on this occasion, 
thus narrated by himself, point out the hardships which the 
Scottish troops had already begun to encounter in Ulster. 

22 " Memoirs," &c. Edin. 1829, 4to. Turner's account of this storm 
is thus confirmed by Pike in his letter to Sedgwicke, mentioned in the pre- 
ceding note :— " Sunday, May 8. At night was such stormy weather, that 
some thirty of the soldiers and others which followed the camp, perished 
with mere cold ; and no wonder, for it killed some fifteen horses which 
were found dead the next morning." 


" I found about five hundred of my lord Sinclair's regiment 
lately arrived at Carrickfergus. These I shipped, and hav- 
ing obtained some wheat from the major-general, but very 
sparingly, and some lead, whereof we had none at the Newiy, 
I went aboard, and the wind being fair, next morning I cast 
anchor at Carlingford, where I found that man-of-war whe 
had convoyed us out of Scotland. In the afternoon, I march- 
ed into the Newry : pitiful quarters we had, and when the 
rest of the regiment came over, which that summer they did, 
we found we had not houses for the half of them ; for we were 
necessitated to take down a great many houses to make the 
circumference of our walls the less. Our own preservation 
taught us to work almost day and night, till we had finished 
the irregular fortification begun by the rebels. This great 
fatigue and toil, a very spare diet, lying on the ground, little 
sleep, constant watching, Sir Philemy being for most part al- 
ways within a day's march of us ; all these, I say, added to 
the change of the air, made most, or rather indeed, all our 
officers and soldiers fall sick of Irish agues, fluxes, and other 
diseases, of which very many died. Those who recovered, 
being inured to hardships and well-trained, became excellent 
soldiers and good firemen." 

On Monro's return to Carrickfergus, he found waiting his 
arrival, a messenger sent by sea from Deny, to acquaint him 
with the distressed situation of that city, and to entreat sup- 
plies of arms and ammunition. The following letter, pre- 
sented on this occasion to the Scottish general, gives so inter- 
esting a sketch of the hardships, which the protestants in that 
town and neighbourhood had already suffered, during the six 
months which had elapsed from the commencement of the re- 
bellion, as to justify its insertion. 

" We of this city of Londonderry and other parts, have 
either been forgotten, or given over for lost as we conceive ; 
for all other parts of the kingdom arc plentifully supplied, 
and yet though we have made our wants and miseries 'known 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 357 

divers times to Dublin, and to England, and to Scotland, yet 
no relief ever came to us, but only thirty barrels of powder, 
brought by captain Boulton from Dublin, (23) long before 
Christmas, which was partly upon the arrival thereof, disposed 
to all needful parts ; and want of powder and arms here hath 
been our ruin. It is the great providence and goodness of 
God, that we are hitherto preserved, having been so ill armed 
and provided for ; all the arms within his majesty's store here 
were shipped to Dublin last summer, and nothing left here 
but old decayed calivers which we have hitherto made a shift 
with, and trimmed them up to our great charges. 

" We have raised seven hundred men for the defence of 
this city, and keep them hitherto at our own charges, in ex- 
pectation of money and other supplies, but there is not one 
hundred good swords amongst them, and their arms but mean. 
Sir William Stewart, Sir Robert Stewart, and Sir Ralph 
Gore, had commissions from his majesty out of Scotland in 
November, for raising three regiments, and two horse troops. 
They lie in the county of Tyrone and thereabout, and so have 
done all this winter, to oppose the enemy ; but being unpro- 
vided for, and not one penny to pay them, they could never 
attempt any great service. It is much that they keep the 
enemies from our walls to this hour ; now our powder is gone, 
our victuals beginning to fail, and these three regiments had 
been starved long since, if we of this city had not relieved 
them with beef, butter, herrings and other necessaries, to a 
great value. But this will hold out no longer, for we have 
not now victuals enough for our own men in the city. And 
if a ship of Bristol had not arrived here with some peas, meal, 
and wheat, we could not have shifted longer ; and all that 
will not last the regiments fourteen days. For the provision 
of the country is destroyed by the enemy, or devoured by our 
own men ; and we are enforced to feed multitudes of unser- 

23 This corroborates Lawson's statement given in note 14 of this chapter. 


viceable people that are fled hither far relief; as if die 
my** swoid spue us, famine will despatch as, except God in 
mercy provide far us. But this is not all ; far now at this 
▼cry hour, Sir Phelim O'Neill having gathered from all parts 
what forces he can make, is with a very great army of horse 
and loot at Scrabane, within ten or twelve raOes of this city, 
intending (by all the intelligence we can get,) to set up bis 
rest, and desperately to break in upon us, where all the faces 
we can make are ready to bid him welcome. 

" Sir Phelim on die one side of the river, and ours on 
the other, in sight one of the other, as as we of this city 
were enforced not only to send a great part of our men out of 
the city to join with them, but also unfurnished and parted 
with what little powder was left us, which with a little we got 
pot of the Bristol ship, we have sent to encounter die Irish 
rebels. And now to relieve our fainting spirits, God hath pro- 
yided for our relief, and sent this bearer captain Strange into 
Lough Foyle, who being in his majesty's service, and sent fir. 
the comfort of his majesty's distressed subjects, into those 
parts, we have made a true relation to him of our desperate 
estate, and the great danger we are in for want of powder and 
other provision, that we have not only prevailed with him to 
lend us, for the present, six barrels of powder, but also to set 
sail for us to Canickfergus, to present our wants and dangers 
we are in to your honourable consideration, most earnestly 
praying that for the love of God, and honour of our king, and 
the safety of this place and people, ye will dispatch him back 
again to us with a good and large proportion of powder, match 
and lead, muskets, swords, pikes, some spades and shovels, 
whereof we have not any ; and of these or what else may be 
bad, as much as ye can possibly spare us ; for we want all 
things fit to defend a distressed country and offend a desperate 

" We also pray that you will restore the captain the six 
barrels of powder we have borrowed of him ; and if there be 


A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 359 

any biscuit, cheese, or any other victuals to be spared, to send 
us some good proportion thereof. So being at present in great 
haste and perplexity, with our service presented to your hon- 
our, we remain your humble servants, &c." (**' 

The situation of Derry, as well as of Coleraine and the 
other British garrisons in the north-west of Ulster, had be* 
come extremely critical. For no sooner had Sir Phelim as- 
certained that the Scottish forces had returned to Carrickfer- 
gus, than again collecting his scattered followers, he set out 
from Gharlemont to occupy his former quarters at Strabane ; 
with the view of expelling the protestants from Donegall and 
Tyrone, and if possible obtaining possession of Derry. But 
he was so vigorously opposed by Sir William and Sir Robert 
Stewart, that he was not only compelled to retire, but the cas- 
tle of Strabane was re-taken, and several important places, 
which had for some time been closely besieged in the county 
of Derry, were relieved by these active and enterprising com- 
manders. The services of the Lagan forces in that district, 
during the month of May, will be best narrated in the words 
of one of their own officers. 

" Sir Phelim O'Neill drew down to Strabane about five 
thousand men, intending to burn Raphoe, and to raise En- 
nisbowen ; and we being, as he absolutely conceived, defeated, 
to draw the other forces to the contrary side of Lough Foyle, 
and so assault the Derry. Our regiments assisted by two 
strong companies of captain Pitt's and captain Lawson's of 
the city of Londonderry, ■ by break of day, were upon 

march an unusual way to Strabane, thinking to have beset 
him and his forces which quartered there visibly. But Sir 
Phelim was newly departed with his forces ; only the castle 

** This letter is copied from a small pamphlet, entitled, " A true relation 
of the proceedings of the Scottish annie now in Ireland, by three letters," 
&c. Lond. 1642, pp. 9. It is dated ' Londonderry, the 27th April 
1642 ;* and is signed, • Robert Thornton, mayor, Henry Osborne, John, 

360 msiomw or the nunraEus 

ten weeks bemre, strongly bdeagwred W Ctai 

ye* had sallied forth and ^^W maty hnndreds of the 

mies, bong ce— wniifd by aioolne y owng gentfaaaan, 

tain Thomas Philips ; hit elder brother, lit Dalle? Philip*, 

being cone ftVf — t with three boats to W"*g pi 

Dfcrry . That night we were welcome gnests to the two 

ties who di'syaiif d of all saccoiir ; — next mania 

od onr mareh into the enemy's c mmtij , where at MagOHgan, 

we eneoontered the enemy, the CTCahans, the Magilligans, 

the CTHagans, and the O'Neals ; we killed upwards of fire 

bandied of them, and scattered the rest. 

" Having received late letters from Coleiaine of their mis- 
erable wants and narrow beleaguer, we continued onr mareh 
towards the mountains, that we might find some prey, that 
we might be the weleomer to almost famished CaLeraine.'" 
They accordingly encountered a large body of the enemy in 
these mountains of the county of Deny, whom they routed, 
and from whom they recovered a considerable booty which 
had been carried off, not long before, from the neighbourhood 
of Coleraine and the river Bann. " Then with our prey and 
abundance of horse, &c, we marched to Dungiven castle, one 
of the king's houses, which was kept by colonel Manus Mac- 
Guy Ballagh MacRicbard CTKane. He, upon parley, de- 
livered up the castle. Hence we marched to Coleraine, every 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 36l 

regiment bestowed some [of their plunder] upon the town ; 
the soldiers at easy rates sold the rest, but such as were deli- 
vered to the right owners. At Castle Roe, a mile from Cole- 
raine, were lodged seven colours of the enemy to secure the 
Bann fishing to themselves. We took the colours, put many 
to the sword ; and the town of Coleraine hath a garrison there 
now, and enjoys the fishing to themselves, being the greatest 
salmon fishing in Christendom." W 

By the seal and courage of these forces, the power of the 
rebels, in the northrwest of Ulster, was in a great measure 
subdued ; and the chief places of strength were in the occu- 
pation of the protestants. " We have at present," concludes 
the officer, already quoted, writing in the end of May, " these 
garrisons, castle of Strabane, Lifford, Rapboe, Drumboe cas- 
tle, Letterkenny, Ramelton, Lymavaddy, Ballycastle, Bally- 
shannon, Donegall, Castle Rahin, [near Donegall,] being 
places of great consequence by situation and strength." 

These proceedings were regularly communicated to the 
Scottish general at Carrickfergus, who was looked upon by 
the British regiments throughout Ulster, as their chief ally 
and protector. Urgent applications were also made to him 
for supplies of provisions and military stores; but he was 
wholly unable to afford them any assistance. From his 
despatches to general Leslie at Edinburgh, dated the day 
after his return from Newry and Armagh, it appears that so 
far from being in a capacity to afford aid to others, his own 
troops had already begun to feel a deficiency in their supplies 
— a want, by which the activity and usefulness of the Scot- 
tish forces were impaired, during the entire period of their 
stay in Ireland. The English parliament, who had engaged 
to support them, were soon compelled to provide for hostili- 
ties at home ; and while they accused Charles of converting 
to his own use the supplies intended by them for their Irish 
forces, he, in his turn, justly condemned a vote of the com- 

25 Colonel Audley Mervyn's " Exact Relation," &c. 


toons, by which one hundred thousand pounds were appmpii- 
ated, under the pretext of a loam, to the eqvjppoig of the par- 
liamentary army, oat of the (and ratted far the relief of Ire- 
land. The state of affairs, therefore, in this country , became 
a subordinate matter in the eyes of the English c ominous ; 
the fmrnediate result of which was a deficiency both in the 
pay and provisions promised for the support of tbeir Scottish 
auxiliaries in Ulster. Monro was consequently co m pelled, 
even at this early period in the campaign, to quar ter some of 
his forces upon the country. "Lord Lindsay's men/* be 
writes to general Leslie, " 1 have quartered in Broadisland 
and Isle-Magee, where they have houses and no victuals ; 
and if all should be trusted to the mayor of Carrickfergus's 
furnishing, a thousand must live on a hundred men's allow- 
ance a-day.* 4 * 1 

Together with these despatches, he forwarded to Edinburgh 
the copy of a letter which he had received from the earl of 
Antrim, and which was dated from Dunluce on the last day 
of April. This wary and perfidious nobleman had no sooner 
learned the failure of the attack upon Dublin, and seen 
the precipitancy and cruelty of O'Neill, than he withdrew 
from the enterprise. The original conspirators having gone 
far beyond the scheme of the insurrection laid down by him- 
self and Ormond, he cautiously forbore co-operating with 
them. " The fools/ as he afterwards stated in his celebrated 
Information, " well liking the business, would not expect 
our time or manner for ordering the work; but fell upon 
it without us, and sooner, and otherwise than we should have 
done, taking to themselves and in their own way, the manag- 
ing of the work, and so spoiled it. r,( * 7) But notwithstanding 
this disappointment, he was far from being an unconcerned 
spectator of the progress of the insurrection. He remained 
in the vicinity of Dublin until the month of April. He 

26 " A true relation of the proceedings of the Scottish armie," &c. ui 

*7 Cox, ii. App. 20& 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 363 

then removed to Ulster, apd took up his residence in his cas- 
tle at Dunlucc, which had been held by captain Digby for 
the king from the beginning of the rebellion. Here he acted 
with the utmost duplicity, and endeavoured to acquire an as- 
cendancy over both the conflicting parties. While he en- 
couraged and directed the Romanists, so far as was consistent 
with his not identifying himself with that party ; he employ- 
ed every artifice to induce the protestants to confide in him 
as their ally and protector. On the one hand, he held secret 
interviews with O'Neill, and occasionally mingled with the 
insurgents, among whom his brother Alexander, afterwards 
the third earl of Antrim, was a most influential leader ; on 
the other, he professed sympathy for the plundered British, 
and officiously sought to alleviate their distresses. 

In accordance with this policy, so soon us Antrim heard of 
the arrival of the Scottish forces at Garrickfergus, he endea- 
voured to conciliate the favour of Monro, and induce him to 
accept of his services in restoring peace to the country. Such 
was the purport of the letter which he now addressed to the 
Scottish commander. He apologized for some acts of hos- 
tility which his followers had committed upon the Scots 
shortly after their arrival ; he professed the warmest friend- 
ship for Monro, and concluded with inviting him to a confi- 
dential interview at his castle at Glenarm. (88> But the vigi- 
lant general was not to be so easily duped. He already pos- 
sessed abundant evidence of the insincerity of Antrim, and of 
his enmity to the protestant cause. At the same time that 
he sent the earl's letter to J^eslie, he stated in his own 
despatch, — " he is joyned strong with the rebels, making a 
pretext of laying downe of armes, in the meantime doth what 
he can to cut our throats." <a9) Accordingly, early in June, 

88 Pike, in his letter to Sedgwicke from Carrickfergus, already quote& 
writes under date of May 30th, — " The earl of Antrim is now at Glen- 
arm, a place twelve miles off Carrickfergus, and would fain be received into 
this towne." 

29 " A true relation of the proceedings of the Scottish annie," &c ut 
supra, p. 6. 


Monro re-assembled his forces, and, being joined by Sir John 
Clotworthy and his regiment, set out to meet the earl. Hav- 
ing reaehed Glenarm, he found Antrim had retired to Dun- 
luce ; and probably meeting with opposition here, he burned 
the town, and proceeded towards the north of the county. 
Here he was joined by additional levies from Scotland, be- 
longing principally to Argyle's regiment. Aided by this 
reinforcement, he invested Dunluce, and forced the earl to 
surrender himself and castle into his hands. (30/ Monro con- 
fined his noble prisoner in Carrickfergus, and placed his 
lieutenant-colonel in charge of that important post — the castle 
of Dunluce. At the same time, he garrisoned the other for- 
tified places belonging to Antrim with the regiment of Ar- 
gyle — the hereditary foe of the house of the Macdonnella. 
The rebels, who had hitherto possessed and ravaged the north- 
ern part of the county, having fled before him across the 
Bann, he immediately returned, with a considerable booty 
of cows, to his head-quarters at Carrickfergus. 

Meanwhile, those fugitives from the county of Antrim 
under the command of Alaster Macdonnell, or Colkittagh, 
effected a junction with Sir Phelint O'Neill, who was still 
lurking among the fastnesses of the county of Deny. O'Neill, 
being apprized of the distressed state of the Lagan forces, 
through want of provisions and ammunition, and encouraged 
by this unexpected reinforcement, resolved to make another 
desperate effort to retrieve his sinking cause in that part of 
the province. He accordingly collected all the levies which 
could be raised in the adjoining counties, and marched into 
Donegall, to meet Sir William and Sir Robert Stewart. 

30 Cox, ii. 114. Carte (i. 310.) gives a different account of the cap- 
ture of Antrim. He states that the earl received Monro hospitably at 
Dunluce, " and provided for him a great entertainment ;" — not a very likely 
way to greet the destroyer of his town and castle of Glenarm, the fires of 
which were scarcely extinguished, — and that after the feast, Monro treacher- 
ously seised on Antrim, and thus secured possession of the castle. But 
Cox's account ought to be preferred to that of Carte, who was most vio- 
lently prejudiced against the Scots, and sought every opportunity of render* 
iug them odious, even at the expense of truth. 

a.d. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 365 

On Thursday, the sixteenth of June, both parties met at 
Glenmackwin, beside Raphoe ; and after the severest conflict 
which had yet taken place in Ulster, the rebels were totally 
routed, with the loss, according to some, of five hundred men. 
The victorious commanders, however, were prevented, by their 
want of supplies, from pursuing the fugitives. <3l) 

Shortly after this decisive victory, Monro, in conjunction 
with the lords Conway, Ards and Claneboy, made a second 
descent upon the rebels in the county of Armagh. They 
took the fort of Dungannon — re-entered Armagh — burned 
Sir Phelim CTNeiirs house near Caledon — and invested 
Charlemont, the only place of strength possessed by the rebels 
in this part of the province. But owing to the want of am- 
munition, and the scarcity of provisions, Monro was forced 
to abandon the siege, and returned again, by way of Newry, 
to his quarters at Carrickfergus. 

About the same time, Sir John Clotworthy defeated the 
rebels in several skirmishes on Lough Neagh, the command 
of which had been intrusted to him by a special resolution of 
the English eommons. (32) They authorized him to provide 
vessels for the defence of the Lough, and its extensive line of 

31 Carte, i. 810. Cox, ii. 115. The latter estimates the number of 
the rebels slain in this battle at two hundred. 

32 The following is the resolution of the parliament alluded to in the 
text " 27 January, 1641-2. Resolved, upon the question, that this 
house holds it fit that Sir John Clotworthy (as his father before bad) shall 
have the command of the bark, and the boats to be provided for the de- 
fence and safety of the lough in Ireland, called Lough Neagh, alias Lough 
Sydney ; and that he shall have the like wages as bis father had : And he 
is to build the hulls of the bark and the boats, and to maintain them at his 
own charge : But he is to have so much monies presently allowed him as 
shall be necessary for their rigging, according to the note agreed upon by 
the committee for the Irish affairs. 

. " Sir John Clotworthy is to have for this service as captain, 15 shillings 
per diem, his lieutenant 4 shillings per day, the master 4 shillings per day, 
master's mate 2 shillings per day, master-gunner 18 pence per day, two 
gunners 12 pence a- piece per day, and 40 common men IS pence a-pieee 
per diem." Commons* Journals. 


coast ; and to man them with a competent force, who were 
to be in the pay of the parliament. He accordingly built a 
large vessel, called the Sydney, of about twenty tons burden, 
and furnished with six brass guns ; and about a doeen smaller 
boats, carrying sixty men each, and capable of transporting a 
thousand men to any part of the Lough. These he placed 
under the command of his relative, captain Langford, and of 
the celebrated Owen O'Connolly, who had returned with him 
from London, and on whdm he had also conferred the com- 
mand of a Company in his regiment of foot. James Clot- 
worthy, the brother of Sir John, was lieutenant-colonel of 
this regiment, and held the fort of Mountjoy in Tyrone, on 
the opposite side of the lough from Antrim, with which, by 
means of the boats, he maintained constant intercourse. 

While in this post, Colonel Clotworthy gained several im- 
portant advantages over the rebels ; driving them from certain- 
entrenchments which they had formed upon that side of the 
Lough ; routing Sir Phelim O'Neill in the beginning of July, 
with the loss of his lieutenant-colonel, one of the O^Quins, 
several officers, and about sixty men ; and breaking up an 
encampment of the rebels at Moneymore, where he saved 
the lives of one hundred and twenty English and Scottish 
prisoners, whom they were just preparing to murder. Sir 
John also erected a fort at Toome upon the Bann, which gave 
him the command of that river, and enabled his regiment to 
make incursions, at their pleasure, into the county of Deny. 
To retaliate these inroads, the Irish garrison at Charlemont 
also built several boats, in which they sailed down the river 
Blackwater into the Lough, and plundered the coast in va- 
rious directions. Several skirmishes occurred between these 
boats and those of Sir John Clotworthy, until the beginning 
of July, when the rebels were at length entirely routed, with 
the loss of above sixty men ; and their boats, with a large 
number of prisoners, were conveyed in triumph to Antrim. (33) 

33 Cox, ii. 115. See also a small but curious tract entitled, — " A re- 
lation from Belfast in Ireland sent to a friend, mentioning some late 


These vigorous proceedings contributed to restore partial 
peace to Ulster. The Romanist party, defeated in so many 
quarters, despaired of being able to offer any further opposi- 
tion to the Scottish and British forces; and the insurgent 
leaders came to the resolution of disbanding their follower^, 
and retiring for safety either to the continent, or to the high- 
lands of Scotland. 

This cessation of hostilities, though partial and temporary, 
paved the way for the re-establishment of religion. The 
episcopal church, which had been so intolerant in the hour 
of her prosperity, was now overthrown and desolate, and out 
of her ruins speedily arose the simpler fabric of presbyterian- 
ism. Few of her clergy, and not one of her prelates, re^- 
mained in the province. The last of the bishops, who left 
the country, was Leslie of Raphoe. After gallantly defend- 
ing the episcopal castle, which he had erected at Raphoe, 
against the. repeated assaults of the rebels, and relieving 
several besieged castles in that district, <34) he retired to Scot- 
land in the latter end of June, and thence to England, where 
he joined the royalist party. Of the protestant laity who 
escaped the fury of the insurgents, few were conscientiously 
attached to prelacy. Even under the despotic sway of Straf- 
ford and the northern bishops, the reader has seen that little 
more than a reluctant and insincere conformity was effected 
by all their severities. When this oppressive constraint was 
removed, the majority hesitated not to declare their approba- 
tion of the scriptural forms of the Scottish church ; while 
many who were in principle episcopalians, were, at this criti- 
cal conjuncture, disposed to abandon that church, when they 

successes against the rebels by colonel Clotwortby, about Mountjoy, in the 
county of Tyrone. Dated 28 July 1642." Lond. 1642. 4to. 

3* In particular, he relieved Sir Ralph Gore of Magherabeg, in Donegal, 
who was reduced to great extremities ; and this, too, after the Lagan forces 
had refused to hazard themselves in the attempt Borlase, Pref. p. xiii. 
Lodge, iii. 281. The gallant bishop lived many years, and was advanced 
to the see of Clogher, after the Restoration. 


beheld its prelates and higher clergy 'in the sister kingdom, 
Opposed to the great cause of civil liberty. The number of 
those attached to presbytery, was still farther increased by 
the return of the original Scottish settlers or their descendants. 
This portion of the population had been greatly reduced by 
the continual emigration to Scotland, which had been going 
on during the last four years. But though peace was only 
partially restored, they had begun to revisit, in considerable 
numbers, this land of their adoption ; and they returned still 
more firmly attached to their national church, which, during 
their sojourn in Scotland, they saw restored to her genuine 
character, and blessed with an eminent degree of purity and 

Owing to these circumstances, a preponderating majority 
of the protestants in Ulster were now decidedly in favour of 
presbyterianism, and desirous that the re-edification of the 
protestant church in Ulster might proceed upon that scrip- 
tural foundation. 

The opportune arrival of the Scottish forces was happily 
instrumental in promoting this desired reformation. Accord- 
ing to the salutary practice of the church and nation of Scot- 
land, at this period, most of the regiments were accompanied 
by chaplains, who were ordained ministers, and firmly at- 
tached to the doctrine, worship, and government of their 
national church. By these prudent and zealous men, the 
foundations of the presbyterian church were once more laid in 
Ulster, in exact conformity with the parent establishment in 
Scotland. The effects of their labours remain to this day. 
By their agency, the Scottish church in Ulster assumed that 
regular and organized form which she still retains ; and from 
this period, the history of her ministers, her congregations, 
and her ecclesiastical courts, as they now exist, can be traced 
in uninterrupted succession. The doctrines taught by these 
brethren, she still zealously inculcates and upholds ; the forms 
of worship they introduced, continue to be strictly observed ; 
and the government and discipline they founded, remain in 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 369 

all essential points unaltered at the present time. The bene- 
fits conferred by these venerable ministers, on the church and 
province of Ulster, entitle them to especial notice. 

The Rev. Hugh Cunningham was chaplain to the earl 
of Glencairns regiment ; and having received a call from a 
congregation here, he remained in the country, after the re- 
turn of his regiment to Scotland. He was ordained, about 
the year 1646, to the charge of the parish and congregation 
of Ray, near Letterkenny, in the county of Donegall. He 
was silenced at the Restoration, by Robert Leslie, bishop of 
Raphoe, who had succeeded his uncle in that see. It is un- 
certain whether he then fled to Scotland, or remained in 
privacy with his people till his death. Another minister was 
in charge of this congregation in the year 1680. The Rev, 
Thomas Peebles was chaplain to the earl of Eglintons re- 
giment, which was quartered at Newtonards in the county of 
Down. He preached not only at the head-quarters of the 
regiment, but in all the neighbouring towns, as he had op- 
portunity ; and two years afterwards he received a call to be- 
come minister of the united parishes of Dundonald and Holy- 
wood, situated between Newtonards and Belfast. To this 
charge he was ordained in the year 1645, and continued in 
it, through all the subsequent vicissitudes of those unsettled 
times, till his death in. the year 1670. The Rev. John 
Baird was chaplain to the earl of ArgyWs regiment. In 
the year 1646, he was ordained to the charge of a congrega- 
tion, probably Dervock, in the Route, a district of country in 
the north of the county of Antrim. (35) It is uncertain how 
long he continued in Ulster, or what afterwards became of 
him. The Rev. James Simpson was chaplain to the Lord 
Sinclair's regiment. He appears to have settled in the charge 
of a congregation in Ulster ; perhaps at Newry, which was 

& I have said that Dervock was ' probably ' the congregation in the 
Route, in which Mr. Baird was settled. My reason for fixing on this old 
established congregation is, that shortly after this date, I find all the other 
congregations in this district supplied with ministers. 
VOL. I. 2 B 


the head-quarters of his regiment for Beveral years. ^ The 
Rev. John Scott was chaplain, most likely, to Lord Home's 
regiment. No record remains of his settlement in Ireland, 
and it is probable he returned with his regiment to Scotland. 
He was afterwards settled as minister of Oxnam, in the pres- 
bytery of Jedburgh. The Rev. John Aird was chaplain 
either to Lord Lindsay's, or to Monroe's regiment. Of him 
likewise nothing farther is known, except he be the tame who 
was afterwards minister of Newbattle, in the presbytery of 
Dalkeith. The only other minister who accompanied die 
army, of whom any record remains, is one, with whose life 
and character the reader is already familiar,— the Rev. 
John Livingston. He has left the following notices of his 
proceedings, and of the religious state of Ulster at this period. 
«' In April 1642, 1 was sent by order of the council of Scot- 
land to Ireland, to wait on the Scottish army, that went over 
with major-general Monro ; and staid for six weeks, part in 
Carrickfergus, where the head-quarters were ; and for other 
six weeks most part at Antrim, with Sir John Clotworthy and 
his regiment, who had obtained an order from the council for 
me so to do. I preached for the most part in these two 
places ; but sometimes in other parishes of the coast-side 
about; and before I left Antrim, we had the communion 
celebrated there, where sundry that had taken the [black] 
oath did willingly, and with great expressions of grief, pub- 
lickly confess the same. I found a great alteration in Ireland, 
many of those who had been civil before, were become many 
ways exceeding loose ; yea, sundry who, as could be con- 
ceived, had true grace, were declined much in tenderness ; 
so as it would seem the sword opens a gap, and makes every 
body worse than before, an inward plague coming with the 
outward ; yet some few were in a very lively condition." **> 

36 He was still in his charge in Ireland in 1650, in which year I find the 
Rev. Hugh Binning, minister of Govan, was married to his daughter. 
Scots Worthies, i. 206. 

37 Livingston's Life, pp. 36, 7. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 371 

The first duty of these ministers, when the army re- 
turned to Carrickfergus after the taking of Newry, and were 
in some measure settled in quarters, was to erect sessions or 
elderships in each of the regiments of which they had the 
charge. These elderships were erected with the concurrence 
of the general and of the several colonels ; and were com- 
posed of such of the officers as were pious and godly men ; 
many of whom were, at this period, to be found in the Scot- 
tish army. Having constituted sessions in four of the re- 
giments then at head-quarters, viz. in Argyle's, Eglinton's, 
Glencairn's and Home's, the ministers found themselves in a 
capacity to hold a meeting of presbytery, in accordance with 
the discipline of the church of Scotland. 

This meeting, memorable as the first regularly constituted 
presbytery held in Ireland, took place at Carrickfergus, on 
Friday the tenth of June 1642. <38) It was attended by five 
ministers, viz. the Rev. Messrs. Cunningham, Baird, Peebles, 
Scott and Aird, Mr. Simpson being at Newry with his regi- 
ment, and Mr. Livingston at Antrim ; and by four ruling 
elders from the four sessions already erected. The Rev. Mr. 
Baird, by previous appointment, preached on the latter part of 
the 51st Psalm ; " Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion : 
build thou up the walls of Jerusalem," &c. A moderator 
was appointed, and the Rev. Mr. Peebles was chosen clerk 
of the presbytery, — an office which he held through every vi- 
cissitude till his death, a period of near thirty years. Each 
minister produced his act of admission to his charge or regi- 
ment, in virtue of which he sat as a member of presbytery ; 
and the ruling elders, in like manner, submitted their com- 
missions from their respective sessions. They authorized 
some of the brethren to confer with the colonels of those regi- 
ments in which there were as yet no sessions, in order that 

38 The date of this meeting is erroneously placed a month later by the 
author of " Presbyterian Loyalty," p. 253. There are several other mis- 
takes in names and dates throughout this work, all of them probably errors 
of the press, for the book is wretchedly printed. 


these courts might be forthwith constituted. They enjoined 
each minister to commence a regular course of examination 
and catechetical instruction in his regimental charge ; they 
resolved to hold, for a time at least, weekly meetings, and to 
open each meeting with a discourse by one of the brethren, 
choosing, as the subject of these presbyterial exercises, the 
book of Isaiah ; and they concluded with appointing a fast 
to be observed the following week, — " wherein they were to 
sympathize with the case of the churches abroad in Germany 
and Bohemia — the present distraction of England and hazard 
of God's work there at that time, through the difference be- 
ginning between the king and parliament — and the case of 
this poor land who were as brands scarce plucked out of the fire, 
yet security and profanity remaining among many both in 
country and army — and that God should be cried unto to 
bless the country with a spiritual ministry — and for a bless- 
ing to the going out of the army against the Irish," &c. (aw 
At this meeting they also wrote to the lords Claneboy and 
Ards, to whose regiments two presbyterian ministers, though 
unordained, had been for some time officiating as chaplains, 
acquainting them with their proceedings, and requesting per- 
mission for their chaplains to attend the meetings of presby- 
tery, and assist in renovating and re-establishing the protest- 
ant church in Ulster. The answers returned by these noble- 
men — formerly the strenuous supporters of prelacy, and the 
pliant tools of Strafford — were most favourable to the views 
of the presbytery. (40) On the 19th inst. the lord of Ards 
sent a respectful message by captain Magill, one of his offi- 
cers, not only assuring them of his regard, but promising 
" to join them in discipline." The same day lord Claneboy 
wrote to the same effect, and gave a similar assurance that he 

» Adair's MS. 

40 The reader has seen both of these noblemen taking part in preparing 
and pressing the black oath. See chapter v. pages 243-4. They did not 
long survive their junction with the presbytery. The lord of Ards died 
in November 1642, and the lord Claneboy in the following year. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 373 

would support the presbytery in their measures. And both 
noblemen expressed their willingness to have their chaplains 
regularly tried and admitted as ministers to their respective 
regiments ; which was soon after done by the presbytery, 
agreeably to the discipline of the church of Scotland.* 41 * 

No sooner had intelligence gone abroad respecting the for- 
mation of a presbytery among the army ministers at Carrick- 
fergus, than applications poured in from the adjoining pa- 
rishes, to be received into their communion, and to obtain 
from them the preaching of the gospel. " Upon which the 
presbytery moved that there should be elderships erected with 
the consent of the congregations, and that, by their help, a 
present supply might be procured, and in due time ministers 
be settled among them. This motion of the presbytery was 
very acceptable to these congregations, as appeared by their 
immediate and earnest address to the presbytery for ministers 
to be sent for that effect ; which also was readily done by the 
presbytery, who sent ministers to divers congregations who 
were first in a case for eldership, viz. Ballymena, Antrim, 
Cairncastle, Templepatrick, Carrickfergus, Larne and Bel- 
fast in the county of Antrim : Bally waiter, Portaferry, New- 
tonards, Donaghadee, Killileagh, Comber, Holywood and 
Bangor in the county of Down. And the elderships being 
erected in these places, there began a little appearance of a 
formed church in the country.' 1 (42) It was soon found, how- 
ever, that without assistance from the parent church, it was 
impossible to afford all these places adequate supplies of 
preaching. Accordingly the people, being most anxious for 
the enjoyment of divine ordinances, agreed to petition the 
General Assembly for a supply of ministers ; and several of 
the parishes, where the brethren, now alive in Scotland, had 
officiated before the persecutions of Strafford and Leslie, de- 
sirous of obtaining once more the services of their beloved 

41 Presbyterian Loyalty, p. 253, confirmed by Adair's MS. 
« Adair's MS. 


pastors, resolved to make special application to the Assembly 
to permit these ministers to accept of calls from Ireland. 

With this view, the parishes of Bangor and Ballywalter 
drew up petitions to the General Assembly, appointed to meet 
at St. Andrews, on the last Wednesday of July, the one signed 
by sixty-three, and the other by forty-one heads of families, 
praying for the restoration of Mr. Blair and Mr. Hamilton 
to their former charges. At the same time the presbyterians 
of the counties of Down and Antrim drew up a large and 
general petition, to which, in a short time, two hundred and 
twenty-five signatures were attached. In this petition, which 
has been fortunately preserved, — though now scarcely known to 
the descendants of its venerable subscribers, — they set forth 
their distressed condition in such affecting terms, and describe 
so feelingly their destitution of divine ordinances, and the 
value which they attached to the enjoyment of the gospel 
upon the scriptural basis of their parent church, as to entitle 
it to a place in these pages. It is thus addressed :— 

" To the reverend and right honourable the moderator and 
remanent members of the General Assembly of Scotland, 
convened at St. Andrews, July 1642. 

" The humble petition of the most part of the Scottish 

nation in the north of Ireland, in their own names, 

and in the name of the rest of the protestants there, 

humbly sheweth, — 

" That where your petitioners, by the great blessing of the 

Lord, enjoyed for a little while, a peaceable and fruitful 

ministry of the gospel ; yet through our own abuse of so rich 

a mercy, and through the tyranny of the prelates, we have 

been a long time spoiled of our ministers, (a yoke to many of 

us heavier than death,) who being chased into Scotland, were 

not altogether unuseful in the day of your need : and we 

having been since oppressed and scattered, as sheep who have 

no shepherd, now at last the wise and righteous hand of the 

Lord, by the sword of the rebels, hath bereft us of our 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 375 

friends, and spoiled us of our goods, and left us but a few, 
and that a poor handful of many, and hath chased from us 
the rest that were called our ministers; the greater part 
whereof we could scarce esteem as such, being rather officers 
to put the prelates' injunctions in execution, than feeders of 
our souls. So that now being visited with sword and sick- 
ness, and under some apprehension of famine, if withal we 
shall taste of the sorest of all plagues, to be altogether de- 
prived of the ministry of the word, we shall become in so 
much a worse condition than any pagans, as that once we 
enjoyed a better. Neither know we what hand to turn us 
to for help, but to the land so far obliged by the Lord's late 
rare mercies, and so far enriched to furnish help of that kind, 
-—a land whence many of us drew our blood and breath, 
and where (pardon the necessary boldness) some of our own 
ministers now are, who were so violently plucked from us, so 
sore against both their own and our wills :— yea, the land 
that so tenderly in their bosoms received our poor outcasts! 
and that hath already sent us so rich a supply of able and 
prosperous soldiers to revenge our wrong. 

" Therefore, although we know that your zeal and brother- 
ly affection would urge you to take notice without our adver- 
tisement, yet give us leave in the bowels of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, to intreat, if there be any consolation in Christ, if any 
comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels 
of mercy, that now, in this nick of time, when the sword of 
the enemy, making way for a more profitable entertaining the 
gospel, having also banished the prelates and their followers, 
when our extremity of distress, and the fair hopes of speedy 
settling of peace hath opened so fair a door to the gospel,— 
you would take the case of ' your younger sister that hath no 
breasts,' (43> to your serious consideration, and pity poor Ma- 
cedonians, crying to you that ye would come over and help 
us, being the servants of the God of your fathers, and claim* 

U Solomon's Song, viii. 8. 


ing interest with you in a common covenant, that, according 
to the good hand of God upon us, ye may send us ministers 
for the house of our God. We do not take upon us to pre- 
scribe to you the way or the number ; but, in the view of all, 
the finger of the Lord points at these, whom, though perse- 
cution of the prelates drew from us, yet our interest in them 
could not be taken away ; wherein we trust, in regard of 
several of them, called home by death, your bounty wfll 
superadd some able men of your own, that may help to lay 
the foundation of God's house, according to the pattern. Bat 
for these, so unjustly reft from us, not only our necessity, bat 
equity pleads, that either you would send them all over, 
which were a work to be paralleled to the glories of the pri- 
mitive times ; or, at least, that you would declare them trans- 
portable, that when invitators shall be sent to any of them, 
wherein they may discern a call from God, there may be no 
difficulty in their loosing from thence, but they may come 
back to perfect what they began, and may get praise and 
fame in the land, where they were put to shame. Neither 
are you to question your power over us so to do, or crave a 
precedent of your own practice in that kind, for our extraor- 
dinary need calling on you, furnisheth you with a power to 
make this a precedent for the like cases hereafter : Herein if 
you shall lay aside the particular concernment of some few 
places, which you may easily, out of your rich nurseries, plant 
again, and make use of your public spirits, which are not 
spent, but increase by your so many noble designs ; you shall 
leave upon us and our posterity the stamp of an obligation 
that cannot be delete, or that cannot be expressed, — you shall 
send to all the neighbouring churches a pattern, and erect 
for after ages a monument of self-denying tender zeal ; — you 
shall disburden the land of the many outcasts, who will fol- 
low over their ministers, — and you shall make it appear, that 
the churlish bounty of the prelates, which at first cast some 
of these men over to us, is not comparable with the cheerful 
liberality of a rightly constituted General Assembly, to whom, 

A.D, 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 377 

we are persuaded, the Lord will give seed for the loan which 
you bestow on the Lord : yea, the day may come, when a 
General Assembly in this land, may return to you the first 
fruits of thanks, for the plants of your free gift. And al- 
though you were scant of furniture of this kind yourselves, 
or might apprehend more need than formerly, yet, doubt- 
less your bowels of compassion would make your deep poverty, 
even in a great trial of affliction, abound to the riches of your 
liberality. But now seeing you abound in all things, and 
have formerly given so ample a proof of your large bestowing 
on churches abroad in Germany and France, and knowing 
that you are not wearied in well-doing, we confidently pro- 
mise to ourselves in your name, that you will abound in this 
grace also, following the example of our Lord and the primi- 
tive churches who always sent out disciples in pairs. But if 
herein our hopes shall fail us, we shall not know whether to 
wish that we had died with our brethren by the enemies 1 
hands, for we shall be if it were said unto us, * Go, serve 
other gods/ Yet looking for another kind of answer at your 
hands — for in this you are to us as an angel of God — we have 
sent these bearers, M. John Gordon and M. Hugh Campbell, 
our' brethren,* 44 * who may more particularly inform you of 
our case, and desire that, at their return, they may refresh 
the bowels of 

" Your most instant and earnest supplicants.'"* 45 * 

44 From the prefix of M. for master, characteristic of ministers in those 
days, being placed before the names of these commissioners, it would ap- 
pear that they were ministers. If so, we have no record of where they 
were settled. They had probably remained in the country during the re- 

45 Copies of this petition, and of those from Bangor and Ballywalter, 
are preserved among the records of the church of Scotland, to which free 
access was afforded me, in the kindest manner, by the principal clerk of 
Assembly, the Rev. Dr. Lee. I have since discovered that the general pe- 
tition, given in the text, was printed in the form of a pamphlet in London 
shortly after it was presented to the Assembly, with this title ; — " The 
humble Petition of the Scottish and many others, the inhabitants of the 
province of Ulster, in the kingdom of Iceland. To the Right Reverend 


This petition was presented to the General Assembly on 
Friday the thirtieth of July. Principal Baillie, who was an 
active member of this Assembly, describes it as " a very well 
penned letter by sundry noblemen and gentlemen, for help of 
ministers in Ireland." It was very favourably received, and 
the following commission, in reply, was drawn out by a com- 
mittee, and unanimously passed the Assembly a few days 



" The Assembly having received a petition, subscribed by 
a considerable number in the north of Ireland, intimating 
their deplorable condition, through want of the ministry of 
the gospel, occasioned by the tyranny of the prelates, and die 
sword of the rebels, and desiring some ministers, especially 
such as had been chased from them, by the persecution of the 
prelates, and some others to be added, either to be sent pre- 
sently over to reside amongst them, or declared transportable, 
that upon invitation from them, they might go and settle 
there ; together with some particular petitions, desiring the 
return of some particular ministers who had laboured there 
before : All which the Assembly hath taken to their serious 
consideration, being most heartily willing to sympathize with 
every member of Christ's body, although never so remote ; 
much more with that plantation there, which, for the most 
part, was a branch of the Lord's vine, planted in this land. 
In which solicitude, as they would be loath to usurp without 
their own bounds, or stretch themselves beyond their own 
measure ; so they dare not be wanting to the enlargement of 
Christ's kingdom, where so loud a cry of so extreme necessity, 
could not but stir up the bowels of Christian compassion. 

and Right Honourable the Moderator and remanent members of the Gene- 
ral Assembly of Scotland, convened at St. Andrews in July 1642." 
Lond. 4to, pp. 5. 


AJ>. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND* 379 

And although they conceive, that the present unsettled con- 
dition both of church and state and land, will not suffer them, 
as yet, to loose any to make constant abode there, yet they 
have resolved to send over some for the present exigent till 
the next General Assembly, by courses to stay there four 
months allanerly (only) : And therefore do thereby authorize 
and give commission to the persons following, to wit, M. 
Robert Blair, minister at St. Andrews, and M. James Ha- 
milton, minister at Dumfries, for the first four months : M. 
Robert Ramsay, minister at Glasgow, and M. John Maclel- 
land, minister at Kirkcudbright, for the next four months ; 
and to M. Robert Baillie, professor of divinity in the uni- 
versity of Glasgow, and M. John Livingston, minister of 
Stranraer, for the last four months : To repair into the north 
of Ireland, and there to visit, comfort, instruct and encourage 
the scattered flocks of Christ, to employ themselves to their 
uttermost, with all faithfulness and singleness of heart, in 
planting and watering, according to the direction of Jesus 
Christ, and according to the doctrine and discipline of this 
church in all things : And, if need be, (with concurrence of 
such of the ministers of the army as are there,) to try and 
ordain such, as shall be found qualified for the ministry ; 
giving charge to the persons aforesaid, that in doctrine, in 
worship, in discipline and in their daily conversation, they 
study to approve themselves as the ministers of Jesus Christ, 
and that they be comptable to the General Assembly of this 
kirk, in all things. And in case, if any of the above-men- 
tioned ministers be impeded by sickness, or otherwise neces- 
sarily detained from this service, the Assembly ordains the 
commissioners residing at Edinburgh, for the public affairs 
of the church, to nominate, in their place, well-qualified men, 
who hereby are authorized to undertake the foresaid employ- 
ment, as if they had been expressly nominate in the face of 
the Assembly. And this, although possibly it shall not fully 
satisfy the large expectation of the brethren in Ireland, yet 
the Assembly is confident they will take in good part, at this 


tune, that which is judged most convenient far their present 
condition— even a lent mite out of their own, not very great, 
plenty— to supply the present necessity ; requiring of them 
no other recompense, but that they, in all cheerfulness, may 
embrace and make use of salvation, and promising to enlarge 
their indebted bounty at the next Assembly, as they shall 
find the work of the Lord there to require. In the mean- 
while, wishing that these who are sent may come with die 
full blessing of the gospel of peace, and irwiimen d ing them, 
their labours, and those to whom they are sent, to the rich 
blessing of the great Shepherd of the flock."* 1 * 

« Acts of Geaosl hmtmUj. Printed 1682. *> MB-53L 

A.D. 1642. s CHURCH IN IRELAND. 381 


Arrival of the minuter* appointed by the General Assembly— Rapid externum 
of the church— Proceedings of the Scottish ministers— Several of the episco- 
pal clergy join the presbytery—Mode of receiving them— Discipline strictly 
enforced by the presbytery — Fast observed, with its causes — Two minister* 
ordained — Livingston pays a second visit to Ulster— The presbytery send a 
second petition to the General Assembly — Assembly's proceedings-— Minister* 
again appointed to visit the church in Ulster — State of affair* in the mean 
time in England — Civil war commenced — Eccle s iastical change* — Growing 

, opposition to prelacy — English parliament open a correspondence with the 
General Assembly — Afterward* abolish prelacy — Westminster Assembly 
called-- Commissioners from the Parliament sent to Scotland-— Solemn 
League and Covenant — Taken in London— And m Edinburgh— Explained 
and vindicated — Forwarded to Ireland, 

Agreeably to the appointment of the General Assembly, the 
Rev. Robert Blair, formerly minister of Bangor, and the 
Rev. James Hamilton, cousin to the then lord Claneboy, and 
formerly minister of Ballywalter, visited Ulster in the begin- 
ning of September. At the first meeting of the presbytery 
held after their arrival, they produced the Assembly's com- 
mission, which was most thankfully received by the brethren ; 
and as a mark of their respect and gratitude, was ordered to 
be inserted in their minutes, and preserved among their pres- 
byterial records. 

Guided by these experienced ministers, who were intimate- 
ly acquainted with the circumstances of the country, and who 
had already proved themselves skilful and successful mission- 
aries, the church in Ulster rapidly revived, and ' broke forth 
on the right hand and on the left. 1 The seed which had 


been sown in faith by these eminent men and their persecut- 
ed brethren, prior to the rebellion, though long checked in its 
growth by the chilling severities of the prelates, now began 
to spring up with renovated vigour, and to gladden the wil- 
derness with its verdure and fertility. The fruit of their la- 
bour appeared in the numbers who had preserved their prin- 
ciples uncorrupted, and their attachment to scriptural truth 
and freedom unabated, notwithstanding the discouragements 
of ecclesiastical bondage and the ravages of civil war. Mul- 
titudes, from all quarters, hastened to declare themselves in 
favour of the presbyterian church, and expressed the stronge st 
desires for her establishment in Ulster. They were most 
anxious to be permitted to join her standard and partake of 
her privileges. 

But neither the importunity of the people to be received 
into communion, nor the desire, so natural to men in their 
circumstances, of speedily securing to their church the ascend- 
ancy in Ulster, induced the presbytery to deviate from the 
strict rules of discipline, characteristic of the parent, and, it 
may be added, of the primitive, church. No person was 
admitted to the privileges, or recognised as enjoying the 
fellowship, of the church, who did not possess a competent 
degree of religious knowledge, or who did not fully approve 
of her constitution and discipline, or who was unable to state 
the grounds of that approbation. Neither were any received 
into communion who had either willingly conformed to pre- 
lacy, or taken the black oath, or been immoral in their con-* 
duct, until they publicly renounced their errors, and professed 
repentance for their irregularities. " Any persons who at 
that time were under scandals of any kind, and not properly 
under the ministry of any in the presbytery, were received, 
upon their own free offer, to public repentance ; but were not 
compelled, till they became members of some formed congre- 
gation ; except in case that they required the benefit of seat- 
ing ordinances.-— The presbytery did also impose public evi- 
dences of repentance upon scandalous persons in their parishes, 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 383 

and where elderships were erected, with as great severity as 
had been done at any time in the church of Scotland : And 
these persons did submit themselves thereunto, though the 
most part were not properly formed into congregations as yet, 
nor under the inspection of ministers." (1) 

The chief duty of the delegates from the Scottish church 
was to organize congregations throughout the country in ac- 
cordance with these principles ; and to cement the union of 
the people associated in their newly-formed churches, by the 
administration of the Lord's Supper. In the performance of 
these duties of " planting and watering according to the direc- 
tion of Jesus Christ," they were, everywhere, received with 
the utmost respect and gratitude. The parish churches were 
again crowded with worshippers, and once more resounded 
with the voice of prayer and thanksgiving. The people re- 
joiced in the restoration of their church and the recovery of 
their religious rights. They truly " came to Zion with songs, 
and joy upon their heads," Their worship could be now 
conducted without the slavish restrictions of the service-book, 
and their ecclesiastical concerns regulated, not by the statutes 
of parliament, or the ordinances of civil rulers, but by the 
deliberations of church officers guided by the dictates of 
the word of God. At the same time, they bewailed their 
former compliances with prelacy ; and those who had been in- 
duced to take the black oath, professed deep sorrow for having 
been ensnared into that engagement. 

The following narrative of Mr. Blair's proceedings during 
this visit, has been happily preserved. " During all the three 
months he was in Ireland, he generally preached once every 
day and twice on the Sabbath, and frequently in the fields ; 
the auditories being so large that no house could contain 
them ; and in some of these he administered the sacrament 
of the Lord's Supper. 

" But because many of the people had formerly through 

* Adair* MS. 


constraint, taken an oath imposed by the lord deputy, abjur- 
ing the national covenant of Scotland, Mr. Blair, after a 
pathetic discourse, laying out the guilt of that black oath, 
charged all whose conscience accused and condemned them, 
to separate themselves from amongst those who were not in- 
volved in that grievous provocation. And they having will- 
ingly done so, and stood in a body on his left hand, he as a 
son, first of thunder and then of consolation, did with great 
vehemency, energy and warmth, set before them, the awful 
threatenings held forth by the holy law against such trans- 
gressors ; and then endeavoured to display the exceeding 
greatness of God's mercy and grace, exhorting them to fly to 
God for reconciliation and pardon through Christ. And after 
the guilty had willingly, and with great expressions of grief 
and sorrow, confessed their sin, they were received as sincere 
penitents, and admitted to the holy communion. 

" Of that solemnity, several old experienced Christians de- 
clared that they never saw the like, nor ever heard the gos- 
pel so powerfully preached and pertinently applied, with such 
variety of threatenings, promises, exhortations, motives, com- 
forts and cordials ; and that they never saw such commotion 
and heart-melting among hearers, both guilty and innocent : 
so that it might be truly said, that ' they gathered together' 1 
to that place, ' and drew water and poured it out before the 
Lord, and said, we have sinned against the Lord.' 1 Sam. 
vii. 6. During this short visit to Ireland, both ministers and 
professors had many sweet and soul-refreshing days of the 
gospel, and some solemn high Sabbaths, the like of which 
Mr. Blair seldom enjoyed in St. Andrews."* 2 * 

His colleague, Mr. Hamilton, was engaged in similar la- 
bours. Both ministers extended their missionary journies as 
far as the army could afford them protection from the Roman 
catholics, — a circuit embracing the greater part of the counties 
of Down and Antrim. They sat with the presbytery when 

2 Blair's Life, pp. 96—7. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND, 385 

assembled as a church-court, and aided them in extending to 
all parts of the country which desired it, the enjoyment of 
divine ordinances, in connexion with the presby terian church. 
They do not appear to have obtruded their government or 
mode of worship, on those who were conscientiously opposed 
to its adoption. But they certainly insisted on as many as 
had voluntarily joined the presbytery, to abide by its dis- 
cipline, and " to walk by the same rule." Several of the 
episcopal clergy who had survived the ravages of the rebel- 
lion, continued to perform divine worship according to the 
common-prayer. But the presbytery, while they interfered 
not with the duties or emoluments of such ministers, could 
not be expected to countenance their proceedings, so long as 
they opposed the discipline of the presbyterian church. Ac- 
cordingly, by an act published in all the churches of their 
communion, they warned their people not to hear those minis- 
ters, or in any other way testify an approbation of the prelatic 
government or worship. 

Many of the episcopal clergy, however, now came forward 
and joined the presbytery. They were received into commu- 
nion, but not until they professed repentance for their former 
courses ; some, for taking the black oath ; others, for having 
imposed it upon the people ; some, for having been persecu- 
tors of the non-conformists ; and all, for having departed from 
scriptural truth by their submission to prelacy. (3 > These con- 

3 The same rules of discipline were observed by the church of Scotland, 
where several Irish ministers and many of the people after the rebellion, 
applied to be received into communion. I find the following entries, ori- 
ginally extracted from the session records of Ayr, in Wodrow's life of Mr. 
John Fergushill, minister of Ayr, preserved among his manuscript collec- 
tions in Glasgow college. " March 7, 1642. Compeared before the ses- 
sion, Mr. Adam Ritchy, sometime minister in Ireland, and for using su- 
perstitious rites and ceremonies in the sacraments there, and in marrying 
people with a ring ; all which he confesscth to have been against the b'ght 
of his own conscience. The session ordains him to appear next Sunday. 

" The same day, Robert Coupar, free of the Irish oath, but troubled in 
mind for his countenancing superstitious ceremonies and the service-book ; 

VOL. I. 2 c 


fcifions and acknowledgments they made m public; a few he- 
lore the presbytery, and ocben before their respective parishes, 
in presence of some of the bfetlueu. ^"^T ^cre then leceiv* 
ed as preachers of the gospel ; but they were not recognised 
as members of die presbytery, until they had been regu- 
larly called and ordained to the charge of congregations, 
" Direr* ministers and others who had taken die black oath, 
and been instrumental in ensnaring others in it, and had 
gone on in a course of conformity and defection, upon an in- 
timation from die presbytery, did come and own their sinful 
defection, and made the siine aclmowledgments in dmae places 
where they had been particularly scandalous; as Mr. Nerin 
at Donaghadee, 44 ' &c. &c Divers of diem gave sa tisfactio n, 
some before Mr. Blair in Bangor, Donaghadee, and KiDi- 
leagh ; and others before Mr. Hamilton. In this the hand 
of the Lord is to be observed, that these men, who, a few years 
before, were deposed and driven out of the country for refus- 
ing conformity, shall be the first who shall receive the ac- 
knowledgments and repentance of con fe r mists.***** 

This circumstance constituted another of those singular 
vicissitudes with which the history of these brethren abound- 
ed — all involving the welfare and extension of the presbyte- 
rian church. Restrained by the Scottish prelates from the 
exercise of the ministry in their native country, they re- 
moved to Ireland, and were the means of introducing here the 
presbyterian discipline. Banished from this country, they 
returned to Scotland, where they were the chief instruments 

allowed to make his public repentance. Both these are done by order of 
the presbytery." Very many are publicly admitted to declare their re- 
pentance for taking the Irish, that is the black, oath. 

4 Among these ought perhaps to be noticed, Mr. James Mehrin, minister 
at Downpatrick. In 1635, he published the bishop's sentence of excom- 
munication against Livingston, and was a violent prelatist. See page 187. 
But when Livingston came to Ireland in 1642, he says, * Mr. Melvin 
was the first that welcomed me ashore, and professed his grief that he had 
a hand in such a wicked act.** Life, p. 24. 

* Adair* MS. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 887 

in overthrowing prelacy, and restoring the presbyterian church 
to her former ascendency in their native kingdom. And now, 
the more violent of their persecutors being driven away by the 
sword of the rebels, they revisit Ireland in peace and honour, 
and are successfully employed, for a third time, in reconstruct- 
ing their church on the ruins of prelacy. This duty they 
discharged, in a manner becoming their Christian character. 
They received the submission of their former opponents and 
persecutors, not contemptuously triumphing over them, as the 
prelatists did over the presbyterians at the Restoration ; but 
meekly rejoicing in the spread of truth and purity, and grate- 
ful that they were the witnesses and the honoured instruments 
of its extension. 

These converts from prelacy were not at first very observ- 
ant of the stricter rules of discipline in force in the presby- 
terian church. Some continued to administer in private the 
ordinance of baptism ; marriage was also privately solemnized 
by others ; and a few were disposed to celebrate the Lord's 
supper, as they, had been accustomed to do, in a kneeling 
posture. But these practices were discountenanced by the 
presbytery, and requested to be relinquished. — " The presby- 
tery being informed of a minister's practice who had been a 
conformist before in the country, and now had taken the cove- 
nant, that he used to baptize privately, brought him to ac- 
knowledge his fault, which, he said, he knew not was so, and 
promised to forbear that practice.— And whereas some mi* 
nisters who had been conformists, and had come and submit- 
ted to the presbytery, did use private baptism and private 
marriage, the presbytery discharged such practices in these 
ministers, which they promise to forbear.— At this time, 
there being one Mr. Black, preacher in Belfast, who intend- 
ed to give the sacrament after the way of the common prayer, 
the presbytery informed of it, sent to colonel Chichester, after- 
wards earl of Donegal], desiring forbearance of that way, in 
order to prevent scandal and inconveniences among the people. 
The said colonel Chichester interfered with him to forbear. 


They also appointed Mr. Baird to preach every third sabbath 
in Belfast, there being the third part of a regiment under 
his charge quartered there." (6) This exercise of authority on 
the part of the presbytery, let it be observed, was confined to 
those ministers who had voluntarily joined their communion, 
and adopted the presbyterian name and discipline. They 
only desired that, so long as their brethren professed to be 
presbyterians, they should act consistently with that profes- 
sion. But with those who adhered to their former profession 
of episcopacy, they do not appear to have in any way inter- 

The attention of the presbytery was next directed to check 
the progress of certain errors originating in the same quarter, 
from which the church had been troubled nearly twenty years 
before. Two baptist preachers at Antrim, where a few sepa- 
ratists still lingered, (7) began to vent their peculiar principles 
condemnatory of infant baptism, and of a regular ministry or 
government in the church, and verging towards, if not alto- 
gether favouring, antinomianism. They were countenanced 
by several persons, with whom they held separate assemblies 
on the exclusive principles characteristic of that denomination. 
The proceedings of the brethren, assisted by Blair and Hamil- 
ton, on this occasion, are thus narrated : — " In this time also, 
with the assistance of these two worthy men, the presbytery, 
upon information of the danger of separation, and the begin- 
nings of some heterodox opinions spreading about Antrim, 
by one Thomas Cornwall and Vcrner ; (8) they did order Mr. 
Blair in his visiting these places, to obviate these dangers, 
by warning the people and publicity declaring against them. 
As also all the ministers are appointed in public to give 

6 Adair's MS. 7 See note 14, cbap. ii. 

8 There was at this time a celebrated baptist preacher in England of the 
name of Francis Cornwall, who wrote several works in favour of the pe- 
culiarities of that sect. See Ivimey's Eng. Baptists, i. 1 67, 205. In 1 653, 
I find a baptist minister in Dublin of the name of Vernon, perhaps the 
Verner of the text. Ibid. i. 240. 

A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 389 

warning to the people against those snares. They also sum- 
moned the said persons to appear before the presbytery to give 
a confession of their faith ; but none did appear. Thomas 
said he was not subject to the presbytery, was a stranger and 
ready to depart. Others, in private conference, did give sa- 
tisfaction ; some were otherwise hindered. However, these 
opinions did not spread. ,1(9) 

In the latter end of November, the presbytery ordered a 
second fast to be observed. The following reasons for this 
appointment illustrate the state of the country, and the diffi- 
culties with which they were obliged to contend. " There 
was at this time another fast appointed to be kept on the 
Lord's day, November the twenty-seventh and the Thursday 
thereafter, for the troubles of the churches abroad ; — the sad 
distractions in England, whence help only could be expected to 
this country, under God; — the discouragement of soldiers 
through want of necessary supplies, and of the country through 
their poverty and oppression ; — the enemy's strength and 
cruelty yet much remaining ; — general carelessness and secu- 
rity, with little life and zeal among people ; — many gross 
sins breaking forth among some ; — want of faithful ministers 
residing in the country to encourage the people and stir them 
up ; — and the sinfulness of the army who should be instru- 
ments of deliverance. These days were accordingly kept."* 10 * 

The last duty performed by Blair and Hamilton, before 
their return to Scotland, was the ordination of two of the 
army ministers, the Rev. Messrs. John Drysdalc and James 
Baty, to pastoral charges in the county of Down. These 
ministers had officiated as chaplains to the regiments of the 
lord Claneboy and the lord of Ards ; and after due examina- 
tion, had been admitted as members of the presbytery. They 
were now presented with unanimous calls from the parishes 
of Portaferry and Bally waiter, near which their regiments had 
been stationed ; and having passed through the usual course 

9 Adair's ]VJS. >° Ibid. 


of second trials, they were solemnly ordained by the presby- 
tery to their respective charges. Mr. Blair presided at the 
ordination of Mr. Drysdale at Portaferry ; and Mr. Hamil- 
ton at that of Mr* Baty, as his own successor, at Bally waiter ; 
" only in Bally waiter there was a reservation of Mr. Hamil- 
ton's interest there, if God should clear his return to that 
place." These two ministers, having now completed their 
prescribed term of four months, and having laboured most as- 
siduously in erecting congregations, admitting members, and 
establishing the presbyterian discipline through the greater 
part of the counties of Down and Antrim, returned in the 
end of December to Scotland, carrying with them letters to 
the standing commission of the church, urging the despatch 
of the ministers appointed by the Assembly for the next sup- 
ply.< H > 

The Scottish army having been increased in August by a 
reinforcement of near four thousand men under general 
Leslie, earl of Leven, who returned in November without 
having performed any service of consequence against the re- 
bels, {]i) an additional number of chaplains was required. 

11 One of these brethren, Mr. John Maclelland, it appears from Baillie, 
(i. 384.) was prevented from filling his appointment by ill health, and was 
consequently excused by the next General Assembly. He came over as a 
supply two years afterwards. 

w Spalding (p. 298) says 8600 men. From the same authority 
(p. 313) we learn, that Leven arrived at Edinburgh, on his return, on the 
last day of November. Sir James Turner, in his " Memoirs," gives the 
following account of Leven's visit to Ulster : — " About Lammas, in this 
year 1642, came general Leven over to Ireland, and with him the earl of 
Eglintoun, who had one of these ten regiments, my lord Sinclair, and 
Hamilton, general of the artillery, better known by the name of dear 
Sandie- (Baillie gives him the same soubriquet, and calls him brother to 
the earl of Haddington, i. 892. ) Great matters were expected from so 
famous a captain as Leven was ; but he did not answer expectation. One 
cavalcade he made, which I joined with him with 800 men, in which I 
could not see what he intended, or what he proposed to himself. Sure I 
am, he returned to Carrickfergus without doing any thing. And the same 
game he played over again, at his second march, except that he visited the 
Newry, for which we were but little obliged to him, being forced thereby 

A.D f 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 391 

The presbytery were therefore " earnest with the regiments, 
who yet wanted ministers, to supply themselves" as soon as 
possible. This recommendation was duly attended to, and 
several ministers were invited from Scotland to officiate as 
chaplains ; " and according as they were presented to the 
presbytery, they were put on their trials, and some rejected 
and some admitted. " 

Among these chaplains was Mr. James Houston, whose 
case may be noticed as illustrative of the state of discipline, 
at this time, in the Scottish church. He had been minister 
at Glasford, in the presbytery of Hamilton, and was esteemed 
" a pious and very zealous young man ;" but having fallen 
into a flagrant sin, he was, soon after his settlement there, 
deposed by the presbytery. Being invited over here as chap* 
lain to one of the Scottish regiments, he was, with that 
view, permitted to preach by the presbytery of Paisley, who 
probably conceived him good enough for Ireland, and the 
army. But his former parishioners, hearing of his restora- 
tion to the ministry, earnestly supplicated the presbytery of 
Hamilton to permit his return to them, which that presby- 
tery peremptorily refused. They then brought their case be- 
fore the provincial synod of Glasgow, who, viewing the matter 
in a more favourable light than the presbytery, ordered him 
to be restored to the pastoral charge of Glasford. The pres- 
bytery, however, appealed to the General Assembly in 1643, 
who sustained their appeal, reproved the synod for restoring, 
in so summary a way, a deposed minister to his charge, and 
finally removed Houston from the ministerial office. <13) 

In the month of May, the indefatigable Mr. Livingston, 
pursuant to the appointment of the Assembly, came over as 
a supply for three months, accompanied by the Rev. James 
Blair, minister at Portpa trick, in room of professor Baillie. 
The former appears to have followed the same course of preach- 
to part with our hay, wine, beer, and bread, of which we were not very well 

" Baillie'0 Letters, i. 387, 8. 

992 msfosror the 

s MiWj ■but wc were often well h fit shed at 
Lsaalrv I dVuim do move before I went to 
bed, bat to make sore die place of scripture I was to preach 
on the next day. And rising in the morning, I had sour or 
five boim in? self alone, either in a chamber, or m the nods ; 
after that we vent to churchy and then dined, and then rode 
five or she miles, more or less, to another parish. Somrtimcs 
there would be bar or fire communions in several places, in 
the three months thne. 9 <** Daring his stay, the presbytery 
held another mst on die twenty-fourth of May, " for the for- 
mer causes ; and especially, the smfbJness of the army and 
country continuing, notwidistandnig die great distresses on 
both ; and that God would bless the expedition of the army, 
going to the field this summer." 

After the departure of Livingston and James Blair, the 
presbytery prepared another petition to the General Assem- 
bly, appointed to meet at Edinburgh on the first Wednesday 
of August. A short time before, the presbyterians of Deny 
and its vicinity had applied to the p resby t ery to send them 
a minister, naming, in particular, a Mr. John Kemp, as one 
whom they desired might be deputed to visit them, with a 
view to his settlement as their stated pastor. But in conse- 
quence of the scarcity of ministers, this application was refer- 
red to the consideration of the Assembly. The pr e sbyte r y also 
resolved to send over one of their number as a commissioner 
to that meeting ; who, on his arrival, was duly recognised and 

14 Livingston's Life, pp. 37, 8. 

A.D. 1648. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 393 

admitted as a member of the court. (I5) The lord viscount 
Aids (16) also wrote at the same time to the Assembly, thank- 
ing them for their former supplies of ministers, and recom- 

1* Baillie's Letters, L 376. The Rev. John Scott was the commis- 
sioner on this occasion. Stevenson, iii. 1082. 

16 This was Hugh Montgomery, the third viscount, vgho succeeded his 
father in November 1642. He afterwards deserted the presbyterian 
church, and became the persecutor of the ministers, whom he now patron- 
used. As it became convenient, after the Restoration, to represent this no- 
bleman as having uniformly opposed the presbyterian church in Ulster, I 
subjoin a copy of his lordship's letter, on this occasion, to the General 
Assembly, extracted from the manuscript records of the church of Scot- 
land, that it may be seen what his real sentiments were at this period. 

" To my right honourable and reverend friends, jthe moderator and 
remanent members of the General Assembly in Scotland. 
" Right honourable and reverend friends, 

" The necessity whereunto this part of the kingdom of Ireland is driven 
for want of a lively ministry, together with our sense of that want, partly 
occasioned by the violent acts of prelates in driving away some of our best 
ministers out of the same, partly through the devastation of this land, by 
the cruel hand of the murthering rebel, which hath made all our churches 
void of ministers. So as, though there be a remnant of well-disposed 
Christians yet preserved alive by the mercy of God in these parts, yet the 
outward means of their salvation is altogether wanting : And the by-past 
experience of your care and love toward us in supplying our wants, in send- 
ing pastors to this place by turns, (for which, your care, we are infinitely 
bound unto you,) together with the assured hopes of the continuance of 
your tender care and love towards us, and my true and earnest desires to 
have this part of the country planted with good and able ministers, sets me 
forward to second the petition out from the inhabitants of this desolate 
land, earnestly entreating, that out of your grave and considerate wisdoms 
and Christian respects to us, you will be pleased to return such a favour- 
able answer to that petition, as our necessity calls for at your hands, and 
the wants of this land requires. And withal, that you will be pleased to 
make choice of some two grave and learned ministers of good and holy 
lives and conversations, and them recommend, and send over to this 
country, the one for the parish church of Newton, and the other for my 
regiment, and by the assistance of God, they shall not want competent 
stipends. In doing whereof, your care to advance God's glory, and to settle 
his church in these parts will appear to the world, and you shall engage me 
for ever to be your true and real friend and servant, 

" Montgomery" 

" Mount-Alexander, the 20M July 1643. 


mending this second petition " of the Scots in Ulster," to 
their favourable consideration. 

. This petition, like the former one, was " subscribed by very 
many hands." It was intrusted to Sir Robert Adair of Kin- 
hilt, knt., with whom the reader is already acquainted, as a 
sufferer, under Strafford, for the presbyterian cause, <17) and to 
Mr. William Mackenna, of Belfast, merchant ; and, with the 
accompanying papers, was presented to the Assembly on Friday 
the fourth of August. (18) In this petition, they thus feelingly 
express their gratitude for the Assembly's former attention to 
their wants : — 

" Whereas you were pleased the last year to take notice of 
our petition, and conceived so favourable an act in our behalf, 
from our hearts we bless the Lord God of our fathers, who 
put such a thing as this in your heart, to begin in any sort 
to beautify the house of the Lord amongst us. Doubtless 
you have brought upon yourselves the blessing of them who 
consider the poor ; the Lord will certainly deliver you in time 
of trouble. We trust no distance of place, no length of time, 
no pressure of affliction, yea nor smiling of prosperity, shall 
delete out of our thankful memories, the humble acknowledg- 
ment of your so motherly care, in drawing out your breasts, 
yea, your souls to satisfy the hungry. Although we have 
been beaten with the sword, bitten with famine, our own wick- 
edness correcting us, our back-slidings reproving us, yet we 
have not so far forgotten the Lord's ancient love, but that our 

*7 Note 17, chap. v. and cbap. vi. page 291. 

* 8 In Ligbtfoot's Journal of the proceedings of the Westminster As- 
sembly, I find the following entry of the same date with the petition in 
the text " Friday, August 4, 1643. Before the Assembly sat, a peti- 
tion was read directed to the parliament, by the poor ministers of Ireland, 
but first brought in amongst us to desire that we would forward the pro- 
moting of it" I have no means of knowing whether this petition was 
from the presbyterian ministers of Ulster, or from distressed ministers in 
other pans of the kingdom. I find that on the 18th September following, 
the parliament made an ordinunce for a collection for the clergy of Ire- 
land, (Cox, ii. 196.) probably in consequence of this petition. 

A.D. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 395 

hearts were brought to a little reviving in the midst of our 
bondage, by the ministry of those, who, at your direction, 
made a short visit amongst us." 

After setting forth their destitute condition, and stating 
that they trusted to the Assembly alone, as their parent church, 
to supply their spiritual wants, they conclude with this re- 
newed and affecting appeal, that their former ministers might 
be permitted to settle among them : — " It is therefore our hum- 
ble and earnest desire, that you would yet again look on our 
former petition, and your own obligatory act, and at least de- 
clare your consent, that a competent number of our own min- 
isters may be loosed to settle here, and break bread to the 
children that lie fainting at the head of all streets ; which, 
although it may be accounted but a restoring of what we lost 
and y mi have found, yet we shall esteem it as the most pre- 
cious gift that earth can afford. When they are so loosed, 
if they find not all things concurring to clear God's calling, 
it will be in their hand to forbear, and you have testified your 
bounty. But oh ! for the Lord's sake, do not kill our dying 
souls, by denying these our necessary desires. There are 
about twelve or fourteen waste congregations on this nearest 
coast ; let us have at least a competent number that may erect 
Christ's throne of discipline, and may help to bring in others, 
and then shall we sing, that the people who were left of the 
sword, have found grace in the wilderness." 

This petition, with the application from the presbyterians 
of Deny, and the letter of the lord of Ards, were referred by 
the Assembly to a committee, to consider what course ought 
to be pursued. As Ireland was a dependency of England, it 
became necessary to obtain the sanction of the English parlia- 
ment for the ecclesiastical changes which had been effected in 
Ulster, under the preaching of the Scottish ministers. Ac- 
cordingly, at the suggestion of the committee, the state of the 
church in the north of Ireland, was recommended to the com- 
missioners from the English parliament who were present at 
this Assembly. The standing commission of the church were 


authorized to provide suitable ministers for the lord viscount 
Ards, and for the presbyterians of Deny. They were also 
empowered to send over to Ulster such expectants or proba- 
tioners, as they might find, upon trial, qualified to discharge 
the arduous duties of the ministry in so desolate a land. (19) 

19 The following extracts from the " Report of Committee appointed to 
consider of the petitions from the distressed people of Ireland," are neces- 
sary to illustrate the statements in the text. — " 7. Further, this committee 
hath represented to the honourable commissioners from England, that these 
ministers who are sought for Ireland can hardly be removed from their parti- 
cular flocks, and are of special steadableness to this kirk ; wherefore the 
said committee hath desired the said honourable commissioners from both 
houses of parliament to express what certainty of continuance there, our 
brethren may have ; not so much for maintenance, as for liberty of adher- 
ing to the doctrine and discipline of this kirk of Scotland, and not to be 
ejected for unconformity as heretofore they were. Which the said honour- 
able commissioners have determined to make known to the parliament 
of England, and have promised to advertise the commissioners of this kirk, 
of their answer, when it shall be sent to them. 8. Moreover, the said 
petitioners from Ireland have acquainted us that where they dwell, divers 
prelatical, ignorant and scandalous preachers, (especially such as took and 
urged the oath against our covenant,) engyre [ingratiate] themselves upon 
the people, and disturb the present good work in hand. For remedy 
whereof, they do earnestly desire that the commissioners from England be 
consulted with, by such as this Assembly shall appoint. 9. The matter 
anent the lord of Ard's letter for two ministers be recommended both to 
the commissioners of the General Assembly, and to such as are sent to Ire- 
land, and the presbytery there, with special advice of Mr. James Blair, to 
be taken thereanent. And the Scottishmen of Derry's petition for a 
minister, in general it is approveu and recommended as the former : But 
Mr. John Kemp, in special, is not thought fit for them, by special know- 
ledge of divers upon the committee. 12. Messrs. Robert Blair and James 
Hamilton, who were four months in Ireland, and Messrs. James Blair and 
John Livingston, for the time they were there, did very painfully and fruit- 
fully labour in their ministry, as is evident to us by the reading and consi- 
dering the register of the presbytery of the Scottish forces there, so that 
they have deserved the General Assembly's approbation. 

David Lindsay, Moderator to the Committee." 

The following is the minute of Assembly relative to the sending of pro- 
bationers to Ulster : — " The Assembly considering that there will be ne- 
cessity to send some expectants to the kingdom of Ireland for satisfaction 
of the desires of the petitions given to the Assembly from the distressed 

A.p. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 397 

At the same time, a reply to the general petition presented 
by Sir Robert Adair, was drawn up and approved, in which 
the Assembly still declined to loose any of their ministers 
from their present charges, with a view to their settlement in 
Ireland. But they very cheerfully appointed the following 
ministers to visit Ulster in rotation, and to supply the pro- 
vince with preaching until the next annual meeting of the 
Assembly : — " Master William Cockburne, minister at Kirk- 
michael, and Master Matthew Mackaill, minister at Car- 
manoch, for the first three months, beginning upon the eighth 
of September next. Master George Hutchison, minister at 
Colmonel, and Master Hugh Henderson, minister at Dailly, 
for the next three months, beginning the eighth of December. 
Master William Adair, minister at Ayr, and Master John 
Weir, minister at Dalserf, for the third three months, begin- 
ning the eighth of March, 1644. And Master James Ha- 
milton, minister at Dumfries, and Master John Maclelland, 
minister at Kirkcudbright, for the last three months, begin- 
ning the eighth of June, in the said year 1644 ; to repair 
unto the north of Ireland, and there to visit, instruct, com- 
fort and encourage the scattered flocks of Christ." (20) 

The General Assembly, whose proceedings in relation to 
Ireland have now been narrated, is most memorable in the 
annals, not merely of the church of Scotland, but of the em- 
pire at large. For at this meeting, was concluded that civil 
and religious league between the two kingdoms, which pro- 
duced so signal a change in the national affairs, as to render 
this period the most interesting and remarkable in the history 
of Britain. 

people in Ireland ; therefore gives power to the commissioners to be ap- 
pointed by this Assembly for the public affairs of the kirk to sit at Edin- 
burgh to consider of the fittest expectants to go to the said kingdom, to try 
and examine them ; and being fit and qualified for that employment, to give 
them calling and commission to go unto the said kingdom, to do and per- 
form such things as they shall find necessary and answerable to the desires 
of the said petitions." MSS. Arch. Ecc. Scot. 

*> Acts of General Assembly. Printed 1682. Pp. 160, 1 190, 1. 


In England, Charles had at length come to an open rup- 
ture with his parliament ; and on the twenty-fifth of August 
1642, had erected his standard at Nottingham, and declared 
his resolution of appealing to arms in defence of his preroga- 
tive. The parliament had, in some measure, provided for 
this emergency, by securing possession of several principal 
towns and forts in various parts of the kingdom. They placed 
their troops under the command of the earl of Essex, and 
resolved to resist, at all hazards, in the field as well as in their 
House, with their swords as well as their votes, the hostile 
attempts of the king. In the first campaign, which was ter- 
minated by the approach of winter, neither party gained any 
material advantages over the other. On the renewal of hos- 
tilities, however, in the spring of 1643, the royal arms were 
decidedly triumphant, both in the north and west. The 
parliament was placed in a very precarious, if not desperate 
situation ; and the civil and religious liberties of the king- 
dom were apparently at the mercy of a victorious and indig- 
nant despot In this critical emergency, the fraternal assist- 
ance of the Scots was anxiously solicited. They were im- 
plored to aid the parliament in defence of constitutional 
freedom against a sovereign, who had already attempted to 
trample on their own rights, and who only awaited the hour 
of victory over his English subjects, to avenge upon them- 
selves their late successful opposition to his designs. As a 
more persuasive inducement, the prospect that the sister king- 
dom would adopt their ecclesiastical polity was distinctly held 
out ; and they were invited to co-operate in establishing a 
uniformity of doctrine, government and worship throughout 
the entire empire. 

The ecclesiastical changes which had, in the mean time, 
occurred in England, had prepared the way for this inviting 
proposal. The meeting of the long parliament was no less 
favourable to the vindication of civil liberty, than to the 
removal of the religious thraldom, under which the nation had 
been long groaning. The execution of Strafford and the im- 

A.p. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 399 

peachment and imprisonment of Laud were early and decisive 
indications of the spirit of the parliament on the subject of 
religion ; while the subsequent conduct of the prelates acceler- 
ated the crisis which was slowly though certainly approaching. 
Their determined hostility to constitutional freedom, — their 
support of all the arbitrary proceedings of Charles, — their 
unmitigated persecution of the puritans, and their manifest 
leaning to popery, in advocating several of its doctrinal errors, 
and introducing some of its superstitious ceremonies,— exposed 
them equally to the indignation of the patriot, and the repro- 
bation of the Christian. They were considered as the chief, 
if not sole, impediments in the way of the civil and religious 
reformation of the kingdom. Petitions against the hierarchy 
poured into the house of commons from all quarters, pointing 
out the evil consequences resulting from episcopal govern- 
ment ; praying that it might be either abolished, or at least 
greatly modified ; and especially entreating that the prelates 
might be no longer permitted to interfere in civil affairs, but 
be confined to the discharge of their spiritual functions. 
Accordingly, early in the year 1641, the commons pledged 
themselves to proceed, in due time, with the ecclesiastical 
reform so much desired. About the same time, they passed 
resolutions against the legislative and judicial power of the 
bishops, and generally against the clerical order being employed 
in any civil or temporal office. But the bill founded on these 
resolutions was thrown out by the Lords. 

Various plans were subsequently suggested for re-model- 
ling the government of the church, which, it was apparent, 
could be no longer tolerated, as it then stood. Of these, tlie 
most remarkable was that by archbishop Ussher, now resident 
in England, by which he proposed to unite the two schemes 
of prelacy and presbytery, and reduce them to what he styled 
" the form of synodical government received in the ancient 
church. 1 ' (21) But the king and the great body of the bishops 

21 Ussher's " model of church government" was summed up in the four 
following propositions, which 1 give in an abridged form :— 


obstinately resisted every concession. The absence of Charles 
in Scotland daring the remainder of the year, and the inter- 
ruption occasioned by the Irish rebellion, retarded, for some 
time, the consideration of ecdesiasrifal aflkirs. In the month 
of February 1642, however, both houses passed a bill for dis- 
abling persons in holy orders from exercising temporal juris- 
diction, and by consequence depriving the bishops of their 
seats in parliament. The royal assent was, with some diffi- 
culty, procured for this bill on the fourteenth of the same 
month ; and thus sanctioned, it formed the first decided prog- 
nostication of the approaching downfall of prelacy. In the 
following month, the commons declared their intention of 
speedily calling an assembly of divines to assist them in re- 
forming abuses in the church ; and in the month of June, 
both houses concurred in passing a bill to that effect. 

Encouraged by these proceedings in parliament, the public 
mind continued to be steadily directed to the subject of eccle- 
siastical reform. The conduct of the prelates had weakened 
the attachment of the great bulk of the people to episcopacy, 
and led many to long for its reform ; and the greater number 

" L The incumbent with the church-wardens and sides-men to exercise 
discipline in each parish, to present refractory offenders to the next monthly 
synod, and in the meantime to debar them from the Lord's table. 

II. Monthly synods to be held of all the incumbents within certain dis- 
tricts corresponding to the rural deaneries; in these a suffragan or rural 
dean to preside ; the majority to decide ; and to be empowered to censure 
errors of doctrine appearing within their districts, with liberty of appeal to 
the diocesan synod. 

III. Diocesan synods to be held once or twice in the year, consisting of 
all the suffragans in the diocese with a select number of the incumbents out 
of each rural deanery ; the bishop or superintendent, " call him whether 
you will," to be moderator, and the majority to decide. 

IV. The provincial synod to consist of all the bishops and suffragans, 
with representatives chosen by the clergy of each diocese within the pro- 
vince ; the primate to be moderator. And both the primates and provin- 
cial synods to constitute a national council to meet every third year, " where- 
in all appeals from inferior synods might be received, all their act* examin- 
ed, and all ecclesiastical constitutions which concern the state of the church 
of the whole nation, established." 


A.D. 1642. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 401 

to desire its total overthrow. The more influential part of 
its clergy, and the preponderating majority of the laity, were 
in favour of the parity and freedom of presbytery ; though a 
considerable number as yet sought no more than the reforma- 
tion of the existing establishment The parliament was simi- 
larly divided in sentiment. Few of the members were, at this 
period, presbyterian in principle, and perhaps still fewer were 
decided episcopalians. The majority in both houses were 
Erastians, conceiving it to be the prerogative of the civil ma- 
gistrate to model the government of the church as he pleased, 
without any reference to the authority of scripture. All par- 
ties, however, with the exception of the royalists, to whom 
the epithets malignants or cavaliers now began to be ap- 
plied, were decidedly bent upon a thorough reformation of the 
government and discipline of the church. 

In this state of public feeling the general attention of the 
nation was naturally directed to Scotland. Here they beheld 
an ecclesiastical establishment in full vigour, and free from 
those abuses which they lamented in their own ; and here too, 
they were aware, existed a kindred spirit of opposition to the 
arbitrary power of Charles, whose encroachments on the rights 
both of their church and of their state, the Scots had so re- 
cently and successfully resisted. 

Accordingly, in July, the parliament opened a corres- 
pondence with the General Assembly met at St. Andrews. 
They state, in their letter, the distractions into which 
the nation was plunged by " wicked counsels and practices of 
the malignant party ;*" they condemn " the avarice and am- 
bition of the bishops ;" they express their desires to avoid a 
civil war with the king, and to " return to a peaceable and 
parliamentary proceeding ;" and trust that they will thereby 
be enabled to secure the honour of his majesty, the peace of 
the kingdom, and especially " the glory of God by the ad- 
vancement of true religion, and such a reformation of the 
church as shall be most agreeable to God's word." To this 
communication the Assembly replied, by repeating their de- 
void i. 2d 


liberate conviction, that there could be no reasonable hope 
of tranquillity to England, or to their own nation and church, 
nor yet a well-grounded peace between the two kingdoms ; till 
the anti-christian system of prelacy be removed, and one form 
of ecclesiastical government established throughout the em- 
pire. They state that as prelacy, so far as it differs from 
presbytery, is almost universally acknowledged to be merely 
a human contrivance, it could therefore be the more easily 
abolished, " without wronging any man's conscience ; " and 
they conclude by assuring the parliament that " what may 
be required of the kirk of Scotland for furthering the work of 
uniformity of government, or for agreeing upon a common 
confession of faith, catechism, and directory for worship, shall 
be most willingly performed" by them. Thus was com- 
menced that correspondence between the two kingdoms, which 
afterwards led to the most memorable results. The Scots 
had as yet stood neuter between the king and the parliament ; 
and had even been endeavouring, as mediators, to effect a re- 
conciliation between them. When this was found to be im- 
practicable, both parties sought to secure their co-operation ; 
the king, on the ground of gratitude for his past favours to 
their church and nation, and the offer of additional privileges; 
the parliament, on the ground of their mutual safety, and the 
extension of their favourite system of ecclesiastical polity. The 
latter considerations prevailed, and the Scots, by espousing the 
cause of the parliament, rendered it ultimately triumphant. 

The reply of the Assembly, so decided on the abolition of 
prelacy, and the conduct of the king in setting up his stand- 
ard at Nottingham a few weeks after it was received, quick- 
ened the parliament in their proceedings respecting the church. 
Accordingly the commons on the first, and the lords on the 
ninth, of September, concurred in an answer to the Assembly's 
letter. In this declaration, they express their desires for 
unity of religion in all his majesty's dominions ; they con- 
demn the government of bishops as hostile to the liberties of 
the nation, and the occasion of many intolerable grievances ; 

A.D. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 403 

" upon which accounts," they say, " and many others, we 
declare that this government, by archbishops, bishops, their 
chancellors and commissaries, deans and chapters, archdea- 
cons and other ecclesiastical officers depending upon the hier- 
archy, is evil, and justly offensive and burdensome to the 
kingdom, a great impediment to reformation, and very pre- 
judicial to the civil government, and that we are resolved the 
same shall be taken away." They conclude this celebrated 
paper by requesting the Scots, to join with them in petition- 
ing the king to assent to their bill for an assembly of divines, 
that one confession of faith and directory of worship might be 
compiled for the three kingdoms. 

Both houses were thus solemnly pledged to abolish prelacy 
and to call an assembly of divines, " as soon as may be." In 
the mean time, the progress of the war prevented them from 
taking any immediate step towards carrying these memorable 
resolutions into effect. When hostilities were suspended by 
the approach of winter, the parliament renewed their negotia- 
tions with Charles at Oxford, and submitted to him several 
propositions, as the foundation of a permanent peace. Among 
these, they required his confirmation of their "declaration 
for taking away of bishops, deans and chapters ;" and his as- 
sent to their bill for convoking an assembly of divines. At 
the same time, to testify their determination to abide by their 
resolutions, a bill for " the utter abolishing and taking away" 
of prelacy, was introduced into the commons in December, 
and finally passed the lords on the twenty-sixth of January, 
1643. The king's consent, however, could not be procured, 
either to this bill or the other propositions of the parliament. 
The negotiations at Oxford were consequently broken off; and 
both parties resumed hostilities in the spring with greater 
vigour than before. The alarming successes of Charles in 
the commencement of the campaign determined the parlia- 
ment to make an immediate application for aid to the Scot- 
tish nation. To prepare the way for this application, it was 
evidently necessary to enter more vigorously on the work of 


ecclesiastical reform. In no other way could they satisfy 
their expected allies, that they were sincere in their desires 
for uniformity of doctrine and discipline between the two na- 
tions; and therefore, though reluctant to act without the 
king's concurrence, they at length, on the twelfth of June,* 1 * 
converted their bill for an assembly of divines into an ordi- 
nance, and summoned the persons therein mentioned, to meet 
at Westminster, to assist them in " settling such a govern- 
ment in the church as may be agreeable to God's holy word, 
and bring into nearer agreement with the church of Scotland, 
and other reformed churches abroad." 

This celebrated assembly, though forbidden to meet by a 
proclamation from the king, commenced its sittings upon 
Saturday the first day of July. It consisted of ten lords and 
twenty commoners as lay-assessors, among whom, was Sir 
John Clotworthy of Antrim ; and of one hundred and twenty 
divines, among whom, the only one connected with Ireland 
who attended, was Joshua Hoyle, D.D. for many years fid- 
low and divinity professor in Trinity College, Dublin.*** 
It possessed no ecclesiastical jurisdiction or authority. It was 
simply a council to advise and direct the parliament in such 
matters, as they might submit to its consideration ; and its de- 
cisions were of no force, until confirmed by their ordinance. 

Having set in motion this important engine for the refor- 
mation of the church, the next step taken by the parliament, 

22 The dates of these various proceedings in tbe English parliament, 
the subject of prelacy, are taken from the " Journals," as quoted by God- 
win in his " History of tbe Commonwealth," vol. i. Many of these dates, 
as given by Neal and several other historians, are inaccurate. 

S3 Joshua Hoyle was elected Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1609. 
In 1623 he was appointed professor of divinity. He was a member of tbe 
Irish convocation in 1634. In 1648 he became master of University Col. 
lege, and King's professor of divinity, Oxford. Dub. Univ. CoL for 1833. 
Thomas Temple, D. D. another member of the Westminster assembly, bad 
also been a fellow of Trinity College ; but he had removed to England and 
settled at Battersea, near London, several years before. Brooke's Puri* 
tans, iii. 100. 

A.D. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND, 405 

who had no time to lose, was to despatch commissioners to 
Scotland, to the convention of estates and the General Assem- 
bly of the church, to obtain their assistance against the victo- 
rious arms of Charles. " The negotiation was not attended 
with much difficulty. With a commendable firmness and 
zeal, the Scots determined to support the English parlia- 
ment, and to maintain the common cause by force of arms, 
undismayed by the perilous situation in which affairs in Eng- 
land then stood." (84) The English commissioners were anxious 
to promote merely a civil league between the two kingdoms ; 
but the Scots strenuously insisted on rendering it also a reli- 
gious covenant. Both objects, however, were embraced, 
and both terms employed in the contemplated bond of union. 
In preparing this bond, no difference of opinion appeared 
in the articles involving civil engagements between the 
two nations. The only point which gave rise to discussion, 
related to the model or plan by which the projected reformation 
in England was to be conducted. At length, the general, 
though by no means ambiguous declaration, that it should 
be conducted, " according to the word of God and the exam- 
ple of the best reformed churches," was unanimously adopt- 
ed ; both parties being content to leave the settlement of such 
modifications in the government and discipline of the church, 
as might be requisite in the peculiar circumstances of England, 
to the deliberations of the Westminster Assembly, to which 
commissioners from the church of Scotland were now added. 
The result of these negotiations, which were carried on in pri- 
vate between the English commissioners, and committees from 
the convention of estates, and the General Assembly, 


** Godwin, i. 178. 

** The following is Baillie's account of the deliberations in Edinburgh 
on this interesting occasion :— " In our committees we had hard enough 
debates. The English were for a civil league, we for a religious covenant. 
When they were brought to us in this, and Mr. Henderson bad given them 
a draught of a covenant, we were not like to agree on a frame ; they were, 



On the seventeenth of August, this memorable bond was 
introduced into the General Assembly, — " in the which, at 
the first reading, being well prefaced with Mr. Henderson's 
most grave oration, it was received with the greatest applause 
that ever I saw any thing, with so hearty affections expressed 

■lore than we could assent to, for keeping of a door open in England to 
independency. Against this we were peremptor. At last some two or 
three in private accorded to that draught, which all oar three committees, 
from our states, from our assembly, and the parliament of England, did 
unanimously assent to." Letters, L 381. After the Restoration, and the 
death of Sir Henry Vane, a story was circulated by the royalist writers, that 
at these conferences, Vane, one of the English commissioners, outwitted 
the Scots by procuring the insertion of the qualifying phrase, " a c cor di n g 
to the word of God," by which it was left undetermined, as they alleged, 
whether presbytery or independency should be established in England. 
But, whatever may hare been the duplicity of Vane, no such ambiguity, so 
far as I know, was ever attached by himself or his party to that stipulation ; 
while, on the contrary, it was invariably pleaded as completely securing the 
establishment of the presbyterian polity in England, though certain modifi- 
cations might be required to render the system, in its details, more suitable 
to the state of that kingdom. Burnet in his M Memoirs of the Dukes of 
Hamilton," published in 1677 ; and Clarendon in his" History of the Rebel- 
lion," written about 1670, but not published till 1703, are the only autho- 
rities for this piece of secret history, quoted by Neal, Laing, and a host of 
other anti-presbyterian writers ; all of whom seem to take a delight in re- 
presenting the leaders in the negotiations respecting the covenant, as meanly 
striving to over-reach each other.— I find an earlier authority than Burnet, 
for this anecdote respecting Vane, in a M Life of General Monk,** publish- 
ed in 1671, by Thomas GumUe, D. D. another royalist writer; and as 
his version of the story is not generally known, I subjoin it for the infor- 
mation of the minute inquirer into these " Curiosities of History." — Speak- 
ing of the covenant, he says, " Sir Henry Vane would by all means have 
it called a league, as well as a covenant; and disputed it almost all 
night, and at last carried it. Another debate he held about church govern- 
ment, which was to be " according to the example of the best reformed 
churches :" he would have it " according to the word of God," only : but 
after a great contest they joined both, and the last had the pr ecedenc e . 
One of his fellows afterwards expostulating his reason, that he should put 
them to so much trouble with such needless trifles, he told him, That be 
was mistaken and did not see far enough into that matter ; for a league 
showed it was between two nations, and might be broken upon just 
reasons ; but not a covenant. For the other, That church government 

• a.d. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 407 

in the tears of pity and joy, by very many grave, wise and 
old men."* 26 ' In the afternoon of the same day it was adopted 
by the convention of estates, and the next morning transmit- 
ted to both houses of parliament in London. By them, it 
was referred to a special committee of their own members, and 
of the Westminster divines, " to the intent that some expres- 
sions might be farther explained, and that the kingdome of 
Ireland also might bee expressly taken into the same league 
and covenant." m These alterations having been accordingly 
made, it was finally approved by the commons, and Monday 
the twenty-fifth of September was appointed for the solemn 
swearing of it, by the members both of the parliament and 
the assembly. 

Being convened in St. Margaret's church, Westminster, 
the Rev. Mr. White of Dorchester opened the meeting 
with prayer. The Rev. Philip Nye of Kimbolton, one 
of the commissioners who had been at Edinburgh, justified 
the covenant from Scripture, and displayed the advantage 
the church had received from such sacred confederacies. The 
Rev. Alexander Henderson of Edinburgh, who was attending 
the Westminster assembly, as one of the commissioners from 

according to the word of God, by the difference of divines and expositors, 
would be long enough before it be determined, for the learnedest held it 
clearly for episcopacy ; so that when all are agreed, we may take in the 
Scotch presbytery." Life of Monk, p. 23. For further remarks on this 
incident, see Brodie, iii. 456 ; and Cook's Hist of Church of Scotland, iii. 
63, 64. 

* Baillie, i. 381. 

*7 See a curious and valuable pamphlet, entitled, " The Covenant : with 
a narrative of the proceedings and solemn manner of taking it by the 
Honourable House of Commons and Reverent Assembly of Divines the 
25th day of September at St. Margaret's in Westminster. Also two 
speeches delivered at the same time ; the one by Mr. Philip Nye, the 
other by Mr. Alexander Henderson. Published by special order of the 
House." Lond. 1643. 4to. pp. 34. This was the first appearance 
of the Solemn League and Covenant in print. A copy of it is annexed 
to the ordinary editions of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Cate- 


the Scottish church, spoke next, and declared, that the estates 
of Scotland had resolved to assist the parliament of England 
in carrying into effect the ends and designs of the covenant- 
Then Mr. Nye read it from the pulpit, article by article, 
each person standing uncovered, with his right hand lifted up 
bare to heaven, worshipping the great name of God, and 
swearing to the performance of it. Dr. Gouge concluded 
with prayer ; after which the commons went up into the 
chancel, and subscribed their names in one roll of parchment, 
and the assembly in another, each of which contained a 
copy of the covenant.* 28 * On the fifteenth of October it was, 
with like solemnity, taken by the lords, after a sermon from 
Nehemiah x. 29, by Dr. Temple, formerly fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin. It was subsequently ordered to be taken 
by all persons in England above the age of eighteen years, 
under pain of being punished as enemies to religion, and 
to the peace of the kingdom. With this view, copies were 
forwarded to every military commander in the service of par- 
liament, that it might be taken by the soldiers ; and to every 
minister, that he might tender it to his people and obtain 
their subscriptions. 

A similar course was pursued in Scotland. The altera- 
tions made by the Westminster divines, were immediately 
submitted to the commissioners of the estates at Edinburgh, 
as well as to the standing committee of the church ; both of 
whom, — " after a day's deliberation, did heartily approve the 
alterations as not materially differing from the form read in 
the assembly. So on Friday, [the thirteenth of October,] in 
the New church, after a pertinent sermon, by Mr. Robert 
Douglas, [one of the ministers of Edinburgh,] the commis- 
sioners of state at one table, the commissioners of the church 
at another, the commissioners from the parliament and as- 
sembly of England at a third, did solemnly swear and sub- 
scribe with great joy and many tears. Some eighteen of our 

28 Rush worth, v. 475. 

A.D. 1648. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 409 

Lords were present that day ; and copies were despatched to 
the moderators of all our presbyteries, to cause read and 
expone the covenant the first Sunday after their receipt, and 
the Sunday following, to cause swear it by men and women, 
and all of understanding in every church of our land, and to 
be subscribed by the hand of all men who could write, and 
by the clerk of session, [in each congregation,] in name of 
those that could not write, with certification of the church 
censures, and confiscation of goods presently to be inflicted 
on all refusers." w The covenant, thus introduced, was 
everywhere received and subscribed, with the greatest enthu- 
siasm and delight. 

This seasonable measure tended most materially to ascer- 
tain and unite, the friends of true religion and liberty, 
throughout the whole empire. In those critical times, a bond 
of union, which might operate as a test of fidelity to the 
great cause in hand, was indispensably necessary. Such was 
the covenant. It could be consistently, and, in point of fact, 
was actually, refused by none except by the violent partizans 
of Charles. It was no doubt pressed with great earnestness 
on all, and those who refused to subscribe it were viewed — 
and the result almost invariably proved the truth of the sur- 
mise — as hostile to the cause of truth and freedom. These 
persons were consequently discouraged, and, where the safety 
of the cause required it, were deprived of their places of trust, 
and laid under restraint. But in what other way could the 
Scots and the parliament, now united to restore and uphold 
constitutional monarchy and secure the liberties of both king- 
doms, expect to attain success ? Self-preservation demanded, 
when in a state of open warfare, that they should clearly 
ascertain both their friends and their adversaries, for the pur- 
pose of uniting the one, and repressing the other. And how 
could this end be attained, but by the enforcement of a test 
suited to the existing emergency ? Had the covenant been 

» Baillic, i. 393. 


simply a civil league, and merely the test of a political party, 
it would be much more favourably regarded by the present 
generation than it is. But, in accordance with the spirit of 
those times, it was both a civil and a religious bond, — an 
ecclesiastical as well as a political test ; and it is in conse- 
quence of its bearing this two-fold character, that such diver- 
sities of opinion have existed with regard to its expediency 
then, and its authority now. 

It must, however, be carefully remembered, that civil and re- 
ligious concerns were so intimately connected, that it was im- 
practicable, had it been desirable, to separate them in the pub- 
lic transactions of that period. The friends of constitutional 
freedom were the friends of scripture-truth, and reformation ; 
and the abettors of despotism in the state, were either the bit- 
ter enemies of protestantism, or the bigoted adherents of pre- 
lacy in its most intolerant form. It was not then, as it is now, 
that men, of almost every creed and church constitute the same 
political party ; or that men, united in the fellowship of the 
same church, are found to entertain opposite political senti- 
ments. In the present state of society, a bond of a mixed 
character, like the covenant, would be palpably unsuitable 
and inefficient. The individuals who would now confederate 
to promote a civil, would be far from uniting to advance a 
religious reformation. But at the period under considera- 
tion, the covenant was a most judicious and suitable bond of 
confederacy ; " for the matter of it, just and warrantable ; 
for the ends, necessary and commendable ; and for the time, 
seasonable." It was obnoxious only to the opponents of the 
civil and ecclesiastical reformation of the kingdom. Its ob- 
jects were, — to secure the liberties of each kingdom, to pre- 
serve the privileges of both parliaments, and to maintain the 
constitutional authority of the sovereign ;— to consolidate a 
firm concord among all parts of the empire on the basis of a 
federal alliance, and to secure the mutual defence of the sub- 
scribers without division or defection,— to preserve the re- 
formed faith in Scotland, and to promote the further reforma- 

a.d. 1643. CHURCH IN IRELAND. 411 

tion of religion in England and Ireland, — and to bind each 
subscriber to study personal reformation, that " they, and their 
posterity after them, may live, as brethren, in faith and love, 
and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of them." 
The promulgation of the covenant, and the spirit which it 
excited and sustained, led to the most important results. A 
large army from Scotland soon after marched to the aid of the 
parliament, against the victorious arms of Charles, and imme- 
diately turned the scale in favour of their allies. 

As the covenant included Ireland in its provisions, mea- 
sures were promptly taken to transmit it to this kingdom. 

On the fourth of November, the celebrated Owen O^on- 
nolly, who had probably accompanied Sir John Clotworthy 
in his visit to England a few months before, was despatched 
by the parliament to the British and Scottish commanders in 
Ulster, to apprize them of the state of public affairs, and pre- 
pare them for entering into that engagement. (30) Such im- 
portant changes had meanwhile taken place among the con- 
tending parties in Ireland, that the protectants of Ulster 
received the intelligence with heartfelt joy ; and anxiously 
desired an opportunity of joining with their brethren in the 
sister kingdoms, in their solemn league and covenant. 

» Carte, i. 486. 





1 1. 

T i 










See Introduction, page 32. 

Since this part of the work was printed, I discovered among the 
manuscripts in the British Museum, the following account of the 
conference between Sir James Crofts and Dowdal, Roman 
catholic archbishop of Armagh, which took place at Mary's 
Abbey, Dublin, in June 1552, and which, so far as I know, has 
never been printed. It is a curious relic of the religious discus- 
sions of that age ; and affords another illustration of the feeble 
and inefficient opposition made to popery in Ireland, compared 
with what it encountered in the sister kingdoms. How differ- 
ently would Knox have handled the argument with the arch- 
bishop ! See the discussion which that strenuous reformer main- 
tained with a popish dignitary in Maybole, just ten years after- 
wards, on the same topic, the mass, in M'Crie's Knox, ii. 62-73. 

[Donat MSS. Mus. Brit No. 4784, fol. 35-37.] 

The discourse that passed at a meeting between Sir James 
Crofts, the lord deputy, and George Dowdall, archbishop of Ar- 

Sir James Croftes haveing intelligence that there were seve- 
rall of the dissenting clergy with George Dowdall, who dissented 


themselves from the king's edict for the establishing of the liturgy 
of the church, to be read or sung in English, armed himself be- 
forehand for to dispute with George Dowdall, and soe tooke 
with him Edward, [Staples] bishop of Meath, and Thomas, 
[Lancaster] bishop of Kildare, the day following. The meet- 
ing was in the great hall belonging to St. Mary's Abbey. A 
dispute hapned as Sir James foretould, which was occasioned 
upon a discourse concerning the masse as followeth : 

G. Dowdall. My lord, why is your honor soe for my com- 
pliance with these clergymen, who are fallen from the mother 
church ? 

Sir J. Crofts. Because, reverend ffather, I would feign unite 
you and them, if possibly. 

G. Dowdall. How can that be expected, when you have 
demolished the masse to bring in another service of England's 
makeing ? 

Sir J. Crofts. Most reverend ffather, I make noe doubt but 
here be those who will answer your grace, which behoofes them 
best to answer in this case, as it belongs to their ffunction. 

E. Staples* My lord sayes well, as your grace was talkeing 
of the masse and of the antiquities of it 

G. Dowdall. Is it not auncienter than the liturgy now estab- 
lished without the consent of the mother church ? 

E. Staples. Noe, may it please your grace, for the service 
established by our gratious king Edward and his English clergy, 
is but the masse reformed and cleansed from idolatry. 

G. Dowdall. Wee shall fly to hie, wee suppose, if wee con- 
tinue in this strain. I could wish you would hearken unto rea- 
son, and so be united. 

E. Staples. That is my prayers, reverend Sir, if you will 
come to it. 

G. Dowdall. The way then to be in unitie, is not to alter the 

E. Staples. There is noe church upon the face of the whole 
earth, hath altered the masse more oftener then the church of 
Rome ; which hath been the reason that causeth the rational ler 
sort of men to desire the liturgy to be established in a known 
tongue, that they may know what additions have been added, 
and what they pray for. 


G. Dotvdall. Was not the masse from the apostles' dayes ; 
how can it be prooved that the church of Rome hath altered it ? 

E. Staples. It is easily proved by our records of England ; 
for Caelestinus, bishop of Rome, (in the fourth centure after 
Christ,) gave the first Introit of the Masse, which the clergy 
was to use for preparation, even the psalm, Judica me Deus, &c 
Rome not owneing the word masse untill then. 

G. Dotvdall. Yes, long before that tyme ; for there was a 
masse called St Ambrose his masse. 

E. Staples. St Ambrose was before Caelestinus, but the two 
prayers which the church of Rome hath foisted, and added unto 
St. Ambrose his workes, are not in his generall workes ; which 
hath caused a wise and a learned man lately to write, that these 
two prayers were forged, and not to be really St Ambrose's. 

G. DotvdalL What writer dares write, or doth say soe ? 

E. Staples. Erasmus, a man who may well be compared to 
either of us, or the standers by ; nay, my lord, noe disparage- 
ment if I say so to yourself, for he was a wise and a judicious 
man, otherwise I would not have been soe bould as to paralell 
your lordship with him. 

Sir J. Crofts. As for Erasmus his parts, would I were 

such another ; for his parts may paralell him companion for a 


G. DotvdalL Pray my lord, doe not hinder our discourse, 

for I have a question or two to aske Mr. Staples. 

Sir J. Crofts. By all meanes, reverend ffather, proceed. 

G. Dotvdall. Is Erasmus his writeings more powerful! then 
the precepts of the mother church ? 

E. Staples. Not more then the holy catholique one, yet 
more then the church of Rome, as that church hath runn into 
severall errors since St. Ambrose his dayes. 

G. DotvdalL How hath the church of Rome erred since St 
Ambrose his dayes ? Take heed lest you be not excommuni- 

E. Staples. I have excommunicated myself already from 
thence ; therefore with Erasmus, I shall averr, that the prayers 
in St. Ambrose his masse, especially that to the blessed Virgin 
Mary, appears not to be in his auntient workes ; for he had 
more of the truth and of God's spirit in him, then our latter 


bishops of Rome ever had, as to pray to the blessed Virgin, as 
if she had been a goddesse. 

G. DorvdalL Was not she called ' blessed,' and did she not 
prophecie of herselfe, (when she was to beare our Saviour 
Christ Jesus,) that shee should be called by all men, ' Blessed.* 

E. Staples. Yee, shee did soe ; but others be called, Blessed, 
even by Christ himself. In his first sermon made by him in 
the mount, Blessed, saith he, bee the meeke, be the merciful, 
be the pure of heart ; Blessed be those persecuted for righte- 
oussnesse sake, and those that hunger and thirst after the same ; 
and he blessed the low-minded sort, of which few or none of the 
bishops of Rome cann be sayd to be soe called since Constan- 
tine's reigne. Christ alsoe, to all those who shall partake of 
his heavenly kingdome, will likewise say unto them, * Come 
yee blessed of my Father,' &c. 

G. DorvdalL Why, pray, is it not probable that St Ambrose 
desired the blessed virgin's mediation for him, as she is mother of 
Christ ; are not children commanded by God's commandments 
to reverence and obey their parents ; therefore as he is a man, 
why may not he be subject ? 

E. Staples. St Ambrose knew better, that he ought to 
apply to Jesus the sole and onely Mediator between him and 
God ; and that, as Christ is man, hce is the Mediator. If the 
blessed virgin, therefore, cann command her son in heaven to 
mediate, then St Ambrose would have made her a goddesse 
or a coadjutor with God, who is of himself omnipotent And 
lastly, if wee make her a mediator, as well as Christ, wee doe 
not onely suspect Christ's insufficiency, but mistrust God's 
ordinances, thinkeing ourselves not sure by his promises to us 
and our forefathers, that Christ should be our Mediator. 

G. Dowdall. To the lord deputy. My lord, I signified to 
your honor, that all was in vaine when two parties should meett 
of a contrary opinion ; and that your lordship's paynes therein 
would be lost, for which I am heartily sorry. 

Sir J. Crofts. The sorrow is mine, that your grace cannot 
be convinced. 

G. Dotvdall. Did your lordship but know the oathes wee 
bishops doe take at our consecrations, signed under our handes, 
you would not blame my stedfastnesse. This oath, Mr. Staples, 


you took with others, before you were permitted to be conse- 
crated. Consider hereon yourself, and blame not me for per- 
sisting as I doe. 

E. Staples. My lord deputy, I am not ashamed to declare 
the oath, and to confesse my error in so sweareing thereunto : 
yett I hould it safer for my conscience to breake the same, 
then to observe the same. For when your lordship sees the 
copie thereof, and seriously considers, you will say it is hard 
for that clergyman (soe sweareing) to be a true subject to his 
king, if he observe the same : for that was the oath which our 
gratious king's royall ffather caused to be demolished, for to 
sett upp another, now called the oath of supremacy, to make 
the clergy the surer to his royall person, his heires and succes- 

Then the lord deputy rose and tooke leave ; soe likewise did 
the bishops of Meath and Killdare, who wayted on his lordship. 

See Introduction, Page S3, and Note 66. 

I could obtain only a very cursory glance at the letter of the 
lord chancellor Cusacke to the duke of Northumberland, pre- 
served among the manuscripts in Trinity College, Dublin. I 
have since, however, had an opportunity of perusing it more 
leisurely, having met with a copy of it among the Harleian 
MSS. in that very valuable and accessible storehouse of histori- 
cal records — the British Museum. I found the two passages 
quoted by Leland ; and at the same time made the following 
transcript of the greater part of that portion of the letter which 
relates to Ulster. This very curious and important document 
cannot fail to be interesting to every reader, as it is both the 
earliest and amplest account of the state of Ulster, which haft- 
yet been published. 

vol. i. 2 E 


[Harl. MSS. Mas. Brit No. 35, foL 188 v. —194 v.] 

The chaunceilor of Ireland to the duke of Northumberland 
relating the state of Ireland. Anno 6, Edw. VI. May 8, 1552. 
" ■ Nexi, to Breany, [Cavan] is M'Mahon's country, called 
Oriell, wherein be three captaynes, the one in Dardarye, the other 
in Ferny, and M'Mahon in Leightie. These countryes [part of 
Monaghan and Armagh,] are lardge, fast and stronge ; amonge 
whome there contynued intestine warre before tyme, wherby 
the most parte of the countrye was made waste, neverthelesse 
they be tall men of the number of lxxx horsemen, cc Kearne 
and vi xx galloglas,* and all these for the most parte doe occu- 
pie husbandrye except the Kearne, and yett some of them doe 
occupie likewise : and no we of late before Easter, by appoynt- 
mente of my lorde deputye, I resorted to them to see their 
countryes ordered: and they all assemblinge before me, I 
caused them not onlye to finde, at their own chardges yearlie 
vi" galloglasses to serve the kinge, and to attende uppon an 
Englishe captayne of the Englishe pale, which hath the order 
of the countrye committed unto hym for the keepinge of the 
king's majestie's peace, the maintenance of the good and the 
punishmente of the evell. But alsoe I caused them to putt in 
their pledges to my handes, as well for the findeinge of the 
galloglas, as for the due performance of the orders which I 
tooke betwixt them ; which thinge was done without force or 
rigor, and they as people most gladde to lyve in quyett, applyed 
to the same, which is great towardnes of obedience. Besides 
this, they have and yealde to all sesses to the souldiers of Moy- 
nehan [Monaghan] and in other places, beeves and carry adge, 
like as others in the English pale doe. 

The next countrye betwene that and M'Gynnose's [Ma- 
genis's] countrye called Iveache, is O'Hanlon's countrye called 
Orres. The same O'Hanlon is an honest man, and he and his 
countrye lyeth readye to obaye all commandements. 

The next to O'Hanlon, is M'Gynnose his countrye affaresaid, 

" The kerne were the undisciplined foot soldiers of the native chieftains, 
usually armed with pikes and skeans. The gaUowglatses were foot sol- 
diers who wore armour, and carried swords and battle-axes. 


wherin the Myorie, [Moira] Mr. Marshall fermer, is situated. 
The same M'Gynnose is a civell gentleman and useth as good 
order and fashion in his house, as any of his vocation in Ire- 
land ; and doth the same Englishe like. His countrey is obedy- 
ent to all sesses and orders ; the same Iveache hath bene parcell 
of the countie of Downe, and he beinge made sheriffe tberof, 
hath exercysed his offyce there as well as any other sherrnTe 
doth ; soe as with them there lackes noe honest obedyence. 

The next to that countrie is M'Cartan's count rye, a man of 
small power, wherein are noe horsemen, but Kearne ; which 
countrye is full of bogges, woodes and moores, and beareth with 
the captayne of Lecaille. 

The next to that countrye is the Daffreyn, wherof one John 
Whight [White] was landlorde, whoe was deceiptfully murther- 
ed by M' Ran ills Boye his sonne, a Scott ; and sithence that 
murther he keepeth possession of the saide landes ; by meanes 
wherof, he is able nowe to disturbe the next adjoyneinge on 
every side, which shortlye by Godes grace shal be redressed. 
The same countrye is noe greate circuyte, but small, full of 
woodes, water and good lande, meet for English men to in- 

The next countrye to the same eastwardes is Leicaille, where 
Mr. Brereton is fanner and captayne; which is a handsome 
playne and champion countrye of ten myles length, and fyve 
myles breadeth, without any woode groweinge therin. The 
sea doth ebbe and flowe rounde that countrye, soe as in full wa- 
ter noe man cann enter therin uppon drye lande, but in one 
waye which is lesse then two myles in length ; and the same 
countrye for Englishe freehoulders, and good inhabitants is as 
civile as few places in the Englishe pale. 

The next countrye to that, the water of Strangeforde, is Arde 
Savage his countrye, which hath bene meere Englyshe, both 
pleasaunte and fayer by the sea ; of length about xii myles and 
iiii myles in breadeth, about which countrye the sea doth ebb 
and flowe ; which countrye is now in effecte for the most parte 

The next countrye to Arde Savage is Clanneboy, wherin is 
one Moriertaghe Cullenagh, one of the O'Neils, whoe hath the 
same as captayne of Clanneboy. But he is not able to main- 


tayne the same. He hath viii tall gentlemen to his sonnes, and 
all they cannot make past xxiiii horsemen. There is another 
captayne in that count rye of Phelim Backagh his sonnes, tall 
men, which take parte with Hughe M'Neile Oge, till nowe of 
late certayne refused him, and went to Knockfergus. 

The same Hughe M*Neile Oge, as your grace hath hearde, 
was prayed by Mr. Marshall, whoe hath made prayes uppon 
others of those confynes for the same, soe as he is noe looser, 
but rayther a gayner by his paynes. He sought to have his 
matter hearde before my lorde deputye and councell, wher- 
uppon a daye was prefixed for the same till Maye ; and nowe 
lately I repayred to his countrye, to talke further with him, to 
tracte the tyme till grasse growe ; for before then the countryes 
being so barren of victuall and horsemeate, noe good may be 
done to destroye him, whereby I perceyed that he was deter- 
mined as he saythe to meete me, and conclude a further peace. 
Yett he hearinge of the arryval of certayne Scotts to the Glynnes 
refused to come to me, contrarye to his wryteinge and sendinge ; 
and went to calle M'Connill, whoe landed with vi or vii u bowes, 
as was reported, and thought to bringe them with him to warre 
uppon his next neighboures ; soe as there is noe greate likelye- 
hoode in him of any honest conformetye : and percey veing the 
same in escheweinge his countrye, I appoynted, and planted in 
the countrye a bande of horsemen and footemen for defence 
therof against the Scotte yf they doe come ; and upon the as- 
semblage of the councell which shal be within these iiii dayes, 
God willinge, suche good conclusions shal be taken for the de- 
fence of the kinge's majesties subjects in those quarters, and for 
the revenge uppon the rcbells, as yf the Scotte did come, they 
shall rather repent their prosperitye by their cominge. 

This countrye of Clanneboy is in woodes and bogges for the 
greatest parte wherin lyeth Knockfergus, and soe to the Glynnes, 
where the Scotte doe inhabitt. As much as this countrye as is 
neare the sea is a champion countrye, of xx myles in length, 
and not over iiii myles in breadeth or little more. The same 
Hughe hath two castles; one called Bealefarst [Belfast] an 
ouldc castle stand inge uppon a fourde that leadeth from Arde 
to Clanneboye, which being well repayred, being nowe broken, 
would be a good defence betwixt the woodes and Knockfergus, 


The other called Castcllrioughe [Castlereagh] is fower myles 
from Bealfarst, and standeth uppon the playne, in the middest 
of the woodes of the Dufferin ; and beinge repayred with an 
honest companye of horsemen, woulde doe much good for the 
quyett and staye of the countrye there about ; havinge besides 
a good bande of horsemen in Lecaille contynuallie to resorte 
and doe servyce abroade upon everye occasion ; then such men 
of small power as Hughe is, must be content to be at com- 
mandement ; for which purpose, there be devises a making 
which, by God's grace, with haste shall take effecte. 

Next to the Glynnes where the Scotte resorte, M'Quoillynes 
[M'Quillan's] countrye is, adjoyneinge by the sea, and soe to 
the Banne ; a countrye of woodes and most parte waste, by 
their owne warres and the exacions of the Scotte, and maye not 
make past xii horsemen. But they were wonte to make lxxx. 
When the Scotte doe come, the most parte of Clanneboy, 
M'Quoillynes and O'Cahan, must be at their comaundemente 
in findinge them in their countrye, and harde it is to staye the 
comeinge of them, for there be soe many landinge places be- 
twene the highe lande of the Raithlandes and Knockfergus ; and 
above, the Raithlandes [Rathlln island] standeth soe fair from 
defence, as it is verye harde to have men to lye there continu- 
allie, beinge so farre from healpe. 

The water of Banne cometh to Loghe Eaughnaie [Lough 
Neagh] which severeth Clanneboy and Tyroon and M'Quoillynes 
and O'Cahane's countrye. 

O'Cahan 'a countrye [Deny] is uppon the other side of the 
Banne, and is for the most parte wast His countrye joyneth 
by the sea and is not past xx myles in length, and most parte 
mountayne lande. They obeye the Baron of Dongannon, but 
what the Scotte take against their will. 

The next countrye to that, on the other side of the Banne is 
Tyroon, where the Earle of Tyroon hath rule ; the fayrest and 
goodliest countrye in Irelande, universallie, and many gentle- 
men of the O'Neills dwellinge therin. The same countrye is at 
least lx myles in length, and xxiiii myles in breadeth. In the 
middest of the countrye standeth Ardnaght, [Armagh] plea- 
santlye situated, and one of the fayerest and best churches in 
Ireland ; and rounde aboute the same is the bishop's landes ; 


and thoroughe occasion of the Eaii and Countesse his wyffe, 
they made all that goodlk countrye wast For wheras the 
countrye for the most parte within this ill years was inhabited, 
it was within this xii moneth made wast, thoroughe bis make* 
Inge of prayes uppon his sonnes, and they uppon him, soe at 
there was noe redresse amongst them, but by robbinge of the 
poore, and takeing of their goodes; whereby the countrye was 
all waste. Wheruppon my lord deputye appoynted a bande of 
men, being Englishe souldiers, to lye in Ardnaghe ; and left the 
Baron of Dongannon in commission with other to see for the 
defence of the countrye and quyett for the poore people, where- 
by the countrye was kept from such raven as before was used : 
and the Earle and Countesse brought to Dublyn, there to abyde 
untill the countrye were brought in better staye. And they 
perceyveinge the same, and that they could not retourn, they 
sent to the Irishe men next to the Englishe pale, and soe they 
did to other Irishemen, that they shoukLe not truste to come' 
unto my lorde deputye nor councell. This was reported by 
part of their owne secrett frindes. 

By reason wherof O'Railye, O'Karrol, and divers other, 
which were wonte to come in withoute feare, refused to come 
unto us : Wheruppon I went to meete O'Railye to knowe his 
mynde what he meant He declared he feared to be kepte 
under rest as the earle was. And then I toulde him the cause 
of his retayner was both for the wastinge and destroyenge of 
his countrye ; and for that he said, he woulde never care for 
the amendinge of the same for his tyme, and yf there were but 
one ploughe goeinge in the countrye he woulde spende upon 
the same, with many other undecent wordes for a captayne of a 
countrye to saye. And O'Railye hearinge the same, saide, that 
he deserved to be kepte, and soe did he, yf he had done the 
like. Soe saide O'Karroll, and other of his countrye. And 
then Shane O'Neill, the earle s youngest soune came to Don- 
gannon, and tooke with him of the earle's treasure viii e . lbs. in 
goulde and silver ; besides plate and stuffe, and retayneth the 
same as yett ; whereby it appeareth that he and she were con- 
tent with the same. For it coulde not bee perceyved that they 
were greatlye offended for the same. Shane, being at peace 
till Maye, hearinge of the arryvall of the Scotte, did send to 


them to give them entertaynmente ; and soe he sent to divers 
other Irishe men to joyne with him, and promysed to devyde 
his goodes with them, which they, for the most parte, refused to 
doe ; but some did. And I hearinge the same, one Maye daye, 
went to him with suche a bande of horsemen and Kerne of my 
frindes, to the number of ccc men, and did parlye with them, 
and did perceyve nothinge in him but pryde, stubbornes, and 
all bent to doe what he coulde to destroy e the poore countrye. 
And departing from me, beinge within iiii. myles to Dongan* 
non, he went and brent the earle's house ; and then perceyve- 
inge the fyer, I went after as fast as I coulde, and sent light 
horsemen before to save the house from breakinge : and uppon 
my comeinge to the towne, and find in ge that a small thinge 
woulde make the house wardeable, what it wanted I caused to 
be made upp, and left the baron's of Dongannon's warde in the 
castle. And havinge espyed where parte of his cattle was, in the 
middest of his pastures, I tooke from him vii c . kynes, besides gar- 
ranes ; and they sessed in the countrye cc. galloglas, and joyned 
all the gentlemen and souldiers of the countrye with the baron ; 
wherewith all they were contented and pleased, and swore them 
all to the kinge's majestie : soe as I trust in God, Tyron was 
not soe like to doe well as within a shorte tyme I trust it shalbe : 
and doe trust, yf a good presedent were there, to see good 
orders established amongst them, and to putt them in due exe- 
cution, noe doubte but the countrye woulde prosper. 

Next to that countrye is O'Donnell's countrye, named 
Tyreconell ; [Done gall,] a countrey both large, profitable, and 
good, that a shipp under sayle maye come to fower of his 
bowses. And bemeane of the warre which was betwene him 
and his father, the countrye was greatlye ympoverished and 
wasted, soe as he did banishe his father at last, and tooke the 
rule himselfe. And nowe the like warre was betwene him and 
the Callough O'Donnell, so as the warres did in effect waste 
the whole countrye. And I beinge sent thether to pacifie the 
same, did bringe them to Dublyn, where order was taken 
betwene them. But as yett they keepe the kinge's peace, and 
perfforme orders. 

The next countrye to O'Donnell is Ferranaghc, [Ferma- 
nagh,] M'Guyer his countrye ; a stronge countrye, and 


M'Guyer, [Maguire,] that is no we a younge handsome gentle* 
man, and maye make cc kerne, and xxiii horsemen. And he, 
the Calloughe O'Donnell, Tirraghe Lynnaghe O'Neyli, Henri 
M'Shane, and all the rest be joyned with the baron of Dongan- 
non to serve the kinge's Majestie, and all these be younge men, 
and of most power in the North, soe as yf the earle and O'Don- 
nell were at suche libertye as ever they were, without those 
they had noe power. And so by Gode's grace the thinge well 
followed, as I trust in God it shall, this summer will make a 
quyett Irelande. 

Irishemen be soone brought nowe to obedyence, consider- 
inge that they have no libertye to praye and spoyle, whereby 
they did maintayne their men, and without that they woulde 
have but fewe men. And the pollecye that was devysed for the 
sendinge of the earles of Desmond, Thomonde, Clanricarde, and 
Tyroon, and the baron of Upper Ossorie, O'Carroll, M'Guyres, 
and others into England, was a greate helpe of bringinge all 
those count ryes to good order. For none of them that went to 
England committed harme uppon the kinge's majestie's subjects. 
The wynninge of the earle of Desmonde, was the wynninge of 
the rest in Monster with small chardges. The makeinge of 
O'Brian, earle, made all that countrye obedyent. The makeinge 
of M'William, earle of Clanricarde, made all his countryes 
dureinge this tyme quyett and obedient as it is nowe. The 
makinge of Fitzffadricke baron of Upper Osserye hath made 
his countrye obedient; and the havinge of their landes by 
Dublyn, is such a gag uppon them as they will not forfayte the 
same throughe willfulle folly e. And the gentlenes my lorde 
deputye doth use amonge the people, with wisdome and indif- 
ference, doth profitt, and make suer the former civilletye. Soe 
as presidents in Mounster, Connaghe, and Ulster, by Gode's 
grace, will make all Irelande, beinge made shire lande, that the 
lawe may take the right course, and yll men throughe good 
perswacion brought to take their landes of the kinge's majestie 
to them and their heyrcs for ever after. And preachers ap- 
poynted amongst them to tell them their dutyes, towardes God 
and their kinge, that they maye knowe what they ought to doe. 
And as for preachinge, we have none, which is our lackc, with- 
out which the ignorante cann have noe knowledge, which were 
veryc ncedfull to bee redressed. 



No. I. 

See Chapter II. page 119, Note 11. 

The following is a summary of the names and residences of 
all the ministers settled in the dioceses of Armagh, Raphoe, 
Derry, Down and Connor, in the year 1622 ; hastily extracted, 
— and therefore, perhaps, not free from inaccuracies, — from the 
* Ulster Visitation Book/ preserved among the manuscripts in 
Trinity College, Dublin. There is no report for the diocese of 
Dromore. As the old names of parishes are scarcely known 
beyond their own limits, I have subjoined the nearest principal 
town, or added such other marks as may enable the general 
reader to ascertain the locality in which each minister laboured ; 
and, by this means, form an idea of the supplies of preaching 
distributed over the greater part of the province at that early 
period. I have also given, in a separate column, a few occa- 
sional extracts from the ' Observations ' of the several bishops. 
These were Hampton of Armagh, Knox of Raphoe, Downham 
of Derry, and Echlin of Down and Connor. 

[MSS. Trin. Coll. Dub. E. 3. 6.] 





Tynan and 

Criggan, near 


LavUeglish, or 



Robert Maxwell, 

Lewis Ussher, M.A. 
John Symmons, M.A. 
William Lord, B.A. 
Oliver Gray, B.A. 

Wm. Moore, M.A. 

William Nicholson, 

Henry Leslie. 

Dean of Armagh. [See intro- 
duction, note 105, p. 58.] 

Archdeacon, [no parish stated. ] 
Precentor, [no parish stated.] 
Resident and serveth the cure. 
Resident and serveth the cure. 

Curate and resident 

Has a curate, a preacher, re- 
sident at Killnaman, a chapel of 
this church. 

Non-resident, — hath a suffi- 
cient curate. 



ParisJies. Mimttert, 

Clonfeckle, or Thomas Grant. 

Aghaloe, or 


or Castle- 

guirck, or 
Six mile- 

Ballyclug, near 

or Stewarts- 

Clonoe and 
Arboe, be- 
tween Stew- 
arts town and 

and Tam- 
laght, or 

Desertlyn, or 

Lissan, near 


Cooks town 
and Dun- 

Derriloran, or 

Carenteel, or 


Kilk-hill, be. 
twcen Bal- 

Errigle- Kero- 
gue, or fial- 


John Mony, M. A. 

Roger Blytbe, M.A. 

Thomas Bradley, 

William Darnel 

Robert Maxwell, 

Michael Berket 

Thomas Hartford. 


Ezekias Smyth, M. A. 
William Swan, ALA. 

Win. Darragb, M.A. 
Robert Sutton, M. A. 
Robert Hamilton. 

Hugh Carter. 


Chancellor, resident, and senr- 
eth the cure. 

Non-resident, — hath a curate, 
Robert Berry. 

Resident, and serveth the cure. 

Non-resident, but hath a curate, 

Non-resident, but goeth every 
third Sunday himself, and keepeth 
a curate, Daniel Kirk, brought 
up in the college, and readeth 
Irish and English. 

Also holds Artrea, adjoining 

Non-resident, but keeps a cu- 
rate, Mr. Glass. 

Serves every second day ; Gre- 
gory Sturton readeth Irish. 
Also holds Kildress. 
Also holds Ttillaniskin* 


The remaining parishes of this diocese lie in the province of Leinster, 
and therefore need not be given here. 





Archibald Adair, 
M. A. 

Leek, between James Scott, M. A. 


and Raphoe. 
Killygarvan, or Alexander Dale, 

or St. John- 

Thomas Bruce, M. A. 



Dromhome, or 
and Bally, 

Inver, or 

Killoroard, be- 
tween Inver 
and Done- 

or Dunfa- 

lie, near 

Robert Connell, 

John Knox, M.A. 

Alexander Cunning- 
ham, ALA. 

William Hamilton, 

John Aiken, M.A. 



An eloquent scholar, and a 
good preacher of God's word, 
given to hospitality and good con- 
versation. [Afterwards bishop 
of Killala, see chap. viL p. 261. 
And of Waterford, p. 290.] 

Church decayed, but repairing. 

Resides at Ramullan, consist- 
ing of 100 British indwellers. 

Archdeacon, presented by the 
duke of Lennox. [See chap. v. 
p. 227.] The ancient church de- 
cayed, and the re-edifying thereof 
is staid by Sir John Stewart, knt, 
who obtained a warrant at the 
council- table to build a new 
church quickly at a town called 
St. Johnston, laying out L.100 
toward the building of the same, 
and the rest to be at the pa- 
rishioners' charges. 

Resident at Killibegs, but cure 
served by Andrew Murray. 

Understandeth the Irish lan- 
guage, and hath an Irish clerk. 
[See chap. vii. note 46. p. 330.] 

Has a converted priest, Owen 
O'Mulmock, who has L.10 per 



Ray, or Ma- 
nor- Cun- 

William Puton, M. A. 

Athimsh, now 
joined to 
Tully, near 
Ram el ton. 

Conwall, or 


Dugald Campbell, 

Kilmacrenan. John Hough, M.A. 
Meavagh, or Ibid. 


Tullaghfenian, Wm. Connyngham, 
or Ramelton. M. A. 

Gartan, beside Ibid. 


docke, or 

Robert Wbyte, M.A. 

Aghanunshen, Claud Knox, M. A. 
and Ramel- 

Inniskeel, Ibid, 

north of 


Assisted in the cure by Thomas 
Fraizer, M. A. In the parish, is 
a bawne and house building by 
William Stewart, Esq. [ancestor 
of the present Londonderry fa- 
mily,] and the like is done by Sir 
John Cohoon of Lusse. 

Dischargeth the cure by him- 
self, and by Brian O'Downey, a 
converted priest. [See chap. ii. 
note 9. p. 117.] 

Understandeth the Irish lan- 
guage, and able to preach there- 
in,— church to be removed to a 
market-town, called Letterkenny, 
where there is eighty families of 
British inhabitants. 

Resident, and serveth the cure. 

Cure discharged partly by him- 
self, and partly by Tirlagh O' Kel- 
ly, a reading minister both in 
English and Irish. 

Resident and serveth the cure. 
[See chap. ii. note 9. p. 117.] 

Assisted in this cure by a read- 
ing minister in English and Irish, 
Mr. John Ross. 

Has L.10 per annum from the 
incumbent, Thomas Knox, B.D. 
who is non-resident ; [probably 
the bishop's son and his successor 
in the bishoprick of the Isles in 
Scotland] he is assisted in the 
cure by Owen O'Downey, who 
readeth the common-prayer book 
in Irish, and is clerk of the said 

Dischargeth the cure by him- 
self and Brian O'Downey, a con- 
verted Irish priest : [probably the 
same who assisted Mr. Paton in 
the adjoining parish of Aughnish.] 

Serveth the cure to all the Irish 
inhabitants by Owen Congall, a 
very good minister, reading in the 
English and Irish languages — 
the ancient church is in an island, 
but ought to be transported to 
Killdownie, where there is al- 
ready a chapel of ease. 





Clonca, or Ma- 

Henry Tutton, M.A. 
Robert Kean, M.A. 

Edward Boucker. 

Clonmany, in 

Carndonagh in 

north of 

Deny and 

and Camos, 
or Strabane. 

John Sterne, M.A. 
Patrick M' Tally. 

Robert Semple, M. A. 

Henry Noble, M.A. 

Clonroy, or 

Thomas Turpin. 

or Castlefin. 

Longfield, or 

Drumra, or 



James Baxter, M.A. 

Richard Walker, 



Also dischargeth the cure of 
Coldaugh [ Culdaff] as occasion is 
offered, there being one English 
family within the parish. 

An honest man, but no licens- 
ed preacher ; fit, notwithstanding, 
to catechise and to speak and read 
Irish, and sufficient for a parish 
wholly consisting of Irish — church 
fallen down and altogether de- 

An Irishman of mean gifts, 
having a little Latin and no 
English ; but sufficient for a pa- 
rish consisting wholly of Irish. 

Assisted by an Irish clerk, the 
whole parish consisting of Irish 

The parish of Camos being 
small, and the town of Strabane 
built in the confines thereof, 
I united, in the former incum- 
bent's time, these two parishes, 
and think them fit to be united ; 
the rather because there is a fair 
church begun by the late earl of 
Abercorn, intended to serve these 
two contiguous parishes. 

The old church is ruined, bnt 
instead thereof, a fair new church 
is to be built in the town of Lif- 
ford, the foundation whereof is 
already laid by the executors of 
Sir Richard Hansard, Knt. 

Resides in the town of Lifford, 
but maintains a curate here. 

Non-resident, but keeps here a 
curate, who is M.A. 

Also* holds TermonomuBgan, 
near Castle-derg. 



Cappagh, near Gerrais Walker, 

DrosBaebose, Lake Astry, M.A- 
or Newton- 

Briteagh, be- Arch. Brooke, M A. 
twecn New- 
and Dungv. 

Edward Harrison, 

near Dun- 
or Magflli- 

near New- 

and Glen- 
near Deny. 

Dunbo, near 

George Major, M. A. 


Jobn Richardson, 

Macosquin,be- James Osborne, M. A. 

tween Cole- 

mine and 


Killowen. ad- 



Robert Baker. 

Errigal, or 

Desert oghill, 
Kilrea and 


John Cmigie. 

sistnag wholly a£ Irish recusants. 

The church is ruinated — the 
meeting of the parish is at a bouse 
in Newton, for which they pay 
a yearly rent of L.1, 6s. fed. — 
he also holds Tamlagkfinlagaa or 
BaQykelly, by dispensation. 

Also holds 

The chore* 


of this parish b 
also hold. O 

On the Haberdashers* proper- 
ty, where be has a curate. 

Sored by two curates, the one 
a preacher, the other a reader. 

Resident and seireth the cure- 
also holds Ardstraw or Newton- 
Stewart. [Archdeacon of Deny, 
and afterwards bishop of Ardagh.] 

Resident and serves- 

Dwells within half a mile of 
the church — an ancient grave man, 
wbo hath preached heretofore, 
but now, by reason of his great 
age, sparely. 

Cure for the most part dis- 
charged by an Irish scholar, the 
whole parish almost consisting of 
Irish recusants. 

An honest man, but no preach- 
er nor graduate. 




near Castle- 
da wson. 


near Port- 

Killelagh, near 




near Tober- 


or Tober- 


Thomas Tonis. 


Oliver Mather. 


Robert Hogg, M.A. 

Wm. M'Teggart. 



A preacher, but no graduate- 
resident and serveth the cure him- 

Not resident — but repairetb hi- 
ther every other Sunday — in his 
absence the clerk taketh upon him 
to serve the cure. 

Preacher,— resides and serves. 

Not resident — but sometimes 
(as once in three weeks) he re- 
sorteth to the church, where no 
man cometh at him, the whole 
parish consisting of Irish recu- 

An ancient master of arts— is 
resident and serves the cure — the 
church repaired by the Mercers. 

When the incumbent is absent, 
the cure is served by a curate. 

Late, by the Pope's grant, dean 
of Derry ; but now being con- 
formable to the reformed religion, 
was (by the appointment of the 
last lord deputy) preferred to this 
small parish, and that of Kilcron- 



John Gibson, M.A. 

Downpatrick. John Watson, M.A. 

Ballydrean, or John Christian, M. A. 


near Comber. 
Kilcleif, near John Curlet. 

Drombo, be- Wm. Forbes, M.A. 
tween Bel- 
fast and Lis- 

Dean— resident and serveth the 
cure, and maintained by a sti- 
pend from Sir James Hamilton — 
church repaired. [Seepage 102, 
and note 86, ch. i.] 

Curate to the incumbent, John 
Gibson, and resident — one church 
repaired, but not the cathedral. 

Archdeacon — serves the cure 
and resideth— church a ruin. 

Curate to the incumbent, John 
Christian, and resident — church 

Curate of this parish, and also 
of Drumbeg, beside Lisburn— 
church at Drumbeg repaired — the 
other ruinous. 



or Portafer- 

Mtlcome Hamilton, 

John MitcbelhiU, 

Arthur Moneypenny, 


near Kil- 

St Andrews, 

or Kirkcub- 

Killileagh. John Boyle, M.A. 

Talpeston, or George Porter, M-A. 



[/ have not 
been able to as- 
certain the lo- 
cality of this pa- 
Bailee, near Richard Hackett, 

Downpa- M. A. 

Donaghadee. George Creighton, 


Kilmore, near Patrick Savage. 


John Wilkinson, 
M. A. 

Ballinderry. Thomas Peers, M A. 

Albavado,alias Robert Morley, M. A. 


Coole, or 
Belfast and 

James Glendinning, 


Chancellor— church ruinous. 
[Made archbishop of Cashel in 
162-% and continued to bold this 
parish in commendam. Ware's 

Also supplies Ardquin, being 
maintained in the bishop's [Ech- 
lin] bouse— church ruinous. 

Prebend of Sl Andrews — no 

Resident — church ruinous. [See 
chap. v. p. 249.] 

Curate and resident — maintain- 
ed by a stipend from Sir James 
Hamilton— -the prebend of Tal- 
peston is vacant, Pat. Hamilton 
being deprived by the lord pri- 
mate for non-residence— church 

Incumbent — resident and serv- 
eth the cure. 

Curate to the incumbent, Rd. 
Hackett — maintained by a sti- 
pend from Sir Hugh Montgome- 
ry—church repaired. 

Hath lately accepted this place; 
he is one of the college of Dub- 
lin, and now resident — the parish- 
ioners natives — the church ruin- 

Also serveth the cures of 
Magheragell, and of Anagallda- 
nagh, [ Aghagallan ?] where he re- 
sides, — all the churches ruinous. 

Serveth the cure — also those of 
Magheramisk and Derriaghy— 
all the churches ruinous. 

Incumbent — resident and serv- 
eth the cure — church built from 
the ground, and repaired. 

Incumbent — resident and serv- 
eth the cure— church a ruin. [See 
chap. i. p. 100.] 



between An- 
trim and Tern* 

Henry Lesley, M.A. 

Cregyvad and 

Robert Cunningham, 

Dundonald. John Letharo, M.A. 



or Ballycar- 
ry ; also call* 
ed Broad- 

Inver, or 

Robert Montgomery. 

James Fresall. 

Robert Openshaw. 
Edward Brice, M.A. 

Hugh Ross, M.A. 

Rashee, near 

Kilbride and 
Antrim and 




Drumaul, or 

VOL. I. 

Donnell O'Murray. 

John Sterling, M.A. 

Christopher Tracy, 

John Ridge, M.A. 

Henry Leslie. 
Hugh M'Lerrenan. 


Serveth the cure of Emgall, 
part of Killead, at Muckamore, 
whither the people resort, not be- 
ing able to maintain a curate — 
also serves the cures of six 
small adjoining parishes, including 
Crumlin and Killead— church a 

Resident at Holywood — serv- 
eth these cures and maintained by 
a stipend from Sir James Hamil- 
ton — church repaired in part. 

Resident— serveth the cure and 
maintained by a stipend from Sir 
James Hamilton— church ruined. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church repaired. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church repaired in part. 

Resident and serveth the cure. 

Serveth the cures of Temple- 
corran and Kilroot— church at 
Kilroot decayed— that at Bally- 
carry has the walls newly erected, 
but not roofed. [See chap. L p. 
98. And chap. iv. p. 201, note 

Serveth this cure, and that at 
Glynn, and is maintained bv a 
stipend from Sir Moses Hill, (an- 
cestor of the Downshire family.] 
—the churches both at Larne and 
the Glynn, repaired in part. 

Prebendary of Cairncastle— 
serveth the cure here — church de- 

Resident, and serveth the cure 
— also serveth the cure at Bally- 
nure — church decayed. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church ruinous. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church and walls newly erected. 
[See chap. i. p. 100.] 

Vicar here, but no curate- 
church decayed. 

Serveth the cure — also that of 
Dunean or Toome— both churches 




Gavin Gray, M.A. 

Rasharkin. Robert Dunbar, M. A. 


Milton, or 

or Dervock. 

Bflley, or 

Bamoan, or 
t Ballycastle. 

Layde or 

» Cushendall. 

van or Glen- 

William Todd. 

William Vincent, 

Andrew Thompson, 

William Wallace, 

Andrew M oneypenny. 

Patrick Felles, M.A. 

Samuel Todd. 

William Fenton, 


Resident and serveth the cure 
—church decayed. 

Resident and serveth thecure — 
church decayed. Also serveth the 
cures of Finvoy and Ballymena. 

Resident here and serveth the 
cure— church walls decayed and 
fallen to the ground. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church Btandeth well slated and 
well repaired. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church decayed. Also serveth 
two other cures. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—-also that of Dunluce — both 
churches ruinous. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
— church walls stand with an old 
roof— also serveth the cure of 
Ardmoy — church unrepaired. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—also two other cures— churches 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church ruinous. 

Resident and serveth the cure 
—church decayed — also that of 
Cairncastle, [between Glenarm 
and Larne] where is no church, 
but the walls fallen down to the 
ground ; there is a house builded 
in the churchyard at the charge of 
the parish, where they assemble 

No. II. 

See Chapter iv. page 194, note 15. 

The following narrative of the public discussion at Belfast, be- 
tween bishop Leslie and the presbyterian ministers, was circu- 
lated in manuscript, shortly after the meeting. The bishop im- 
peached its accuracy, so far as he was concerned ; and felt so 


annoyed by its getting abroad, that when he printed his sermon 
on the occasion, he appended to it a lengthened ' Answer* to the 
objections, urged at this Conference, against kneeling at the com- 
munion. See chap, i v. note 1 1. p. 188. How far the account which 
was circulated was deemed inaccurate, the bishop does not con- 
descend to state. He contents himself with merely declaiming, 
in a very coarse and vulgar strain, against it, as " falsely tra- 
ducing all his proceedings ;" and apologizes for the " abject 
style" of his Answer by saying, " the very reading of that libell 
hath infected my pen with barbarisme." It is rather singular 
that an account of this * Conference' was never before published. 
The Rev. Dr. Campbell of Armagh, the learned and eloquent 
vindicator of the presbyterians of Ireland, appears to have pos- 
sessed a copy of it See his " Examination of the bishop of 
Cloyne's Defence of his Principles," &c. Belfast, 1788. Note 
at p. 170. This was the only intimation I had of a copy being 
extant, until I discovered several in the Advocates' Library, 
Edinburgh, from a careful collation of which the following is 

[Wod. MSS. Bib. Jur. Edin. Rob. iii. 2. 2. No. 3.] 

Collated with Rob. iii. 3. 1. No. 22, and Rob. iii. 3. 3. No. 8. 

Conference between the bishop of Down, Mr. Robert Cun- 
ningham and other Scots ministers, August 11, 1636. 

August 10, 1636. The bishop of Down taught on Matth. 
xviii. 17, in the afternoon ; and after the calling of the names, 
the bishop called Mr. Brice, Mr. Ridge, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. 
Colwart, Mr. Hamilton, and declared, that whereas he had 
taken pains with them at the last visitation in private, and the 
report had gone, that the victory had passed on their side, there- 
fore he would never any more talk with them in private. But 
if they on the country's charges, would travel to any university 
in Europe, he would travel on his own charges, and there would 
reason the points contra verted, and submit to their judgment. 
« But if you/ says he, ' who are many, and I but alone, will rea- 
son before this assembly to-morrow by two o'clock, I hope 


they are judicious, and will consider of our reasoning ;' to which 
last offer they did consent. 

He also challenged Mr. Cunningham, that when he gave the 
communion at Holywood, he adjured the people never to take 
the communion kneeling ; for which if he should prosecute, he 
said it would bring Mr. Cunningham to greater trouble than he 
would be able to bring him off again. But Mr. Cunningham 
declared upon his honesty, that he had not done so. 

August 1 1, 1636. Being come to church, the bishop called 
Mr. Brice, Mr. Ridge, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. 
Colwart, to know if they would subscribe the first four canons, 
or if they were ready to lay open their objections, and be would 
answer in behalf of the church, to defend all that was com- 

Ridge : Seeing he had done them that favour to offer them 
an hearing, they were ready to lay open their doubts ; and that 
there might be no confusion, the company had entrusted to Mr. 
Hamilton to lay open their minds, to whom they prayed the 
bishop to give audience with patience. 

The bishop says, It is well, Mr. Hamilton, what have you to 

Mr. Hamilton answers, I bless the God of heaven who put in 
your mind and mouth, both in your sermon, and also in your 
public speech yesterday, to declare that it ought to be free, and 
it should be free to us modestly to propone our doubts against 
such things as are enjoined us to be subscribed, whereby I hope 
it shall be manifest that hitherto we have refrained to do as we 
are directed, not out of contention and stubbornness, but upon 
reasons prevailing with our judgments, which here I will unfold; 
providing (whereof we doubt not,) that this present liberty be 
not to our prejudice in time to come. 

Bish. It shall not 

Ham. Further, lest we wander from the point, I desire and 
am content that we hold the rules of dispute and formal reason- 
ing in objecting and answering. 

Bish. I am content. 

Hairu I conceive the case stands thus: If we can subscribe 
the first four canons, we are to enjoy our ministry, but if we do 
not subscribe them all, we are to be silenced. 


Bish. So it is. 

Ham. That which a man, in his own judgment, for sound 
reason disallows, he cannot subscribe unto ; divers things con- 
tained within the compass of the first four canons, we disallow 
of in our judgments for sound reasons : ergo, &c. 

Bisk. Prove your minor. 

Ham. My first argument is this : known corruptions in 
translation of the holy Scripture we disallow in judgment ; but 
in some part of that, to wit, the book of common-prayer, which 
we are to subscribe, are divers known corrupt translations of 
the holy Scripture ; therefore we justly disallow them. 

Bish, First, you are not bound to a corrupt translation. 
Secondly, I deny that there is any material corruption in the 
translation of such Scriptures as are contained in the book of 

Ham, I prove by subscription to the book of common- 
prayer, I am tied to the corrupt translation ; for it is so in the 
third canon, * that form of divine service, which is contained in 
the book of common-prayer, and no other shall be used/ 

Bish. Well, it is so said in the third canon. 

Ham. Now, I prove that there is some material corruption 
in the translation of the Scriptures that is contained in the book 
of common-prayer, thus: Where there is contradiction to true 
Scriptures, additions, detractions, altering of the same, and mak- 
ing nonsense of true Scriptures, there is corrupt translation ; 
but so it is in the book of common-prayer : ergo, &c. 

Bish. You draw to a dispute before this audience, which the 
people cannot understand, leading me to reason concerning the 
Hebrew language. But to save you a labour, I am content it 
bear your subscription, that whereas there are some corrupt 
translations in the book of common-prayer, it shall be free for 
you to read the best translation that ye can find in your church. 

Ham. In so far we are satisfied, and accept of the offer. 

Bish. You shall have it. 

Ham. The second reason whereby I declare our just rea- 
sons in disallowing subscription, is this: Where apocrypha 
Scriptures containing untruths, are appointed to be read to 
God's people, we justly disallow ; so it is in the book of com- 
mon-prayer : ergo, &c. 


Bisk. Prove your minor. 

Ham. Upon the fourth day of October, the twelfth chapter 
of Tobit is to be read, which in the ninth and fifteenth verses, 
contains errors 

Bisk. I never counted that book Tobit worthy the reading. 
Can ye say there are any farther errors in the book_of Apocry- 
pha which is to be read ? 

Hatn. Yea; upon the tenth day of October, the ninth 
chapter of Judith is to be read, which in the second, tenth, and 
fifteenth verses, contains errors. So also upon the seventh day 
of November, the twenty-fourth chapter of Ecclesiasticus is to 
be read, which in the fourth verse, contains an error. 

Bisk. Ye shall be free to read other Scriptures